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Have your bar mitzvah at a rooftop bar and restaurant

Go with 230 Fifth

for The Brooklyn Paper

It’s nearly impossible to find a bar or restaurant in Manhattan that doesn’t feel like a subway car at rush hour. There are eight million people crammed into a tiny grid, so it’s only natural that every New Yorker craves a little extra breathing room. Luckily for parents planning a bar or bat mitzvah bash in the city, there’s a spacious, centrally located alternative that’s a breath of fresh air — literally.

The famed 230 Fifth, located on the 20th floor of the former Victoria Hotel on Fifth Avenue and 27th Street, is a bar and restaurant that offers everything that a stylish simcha needs.

The 24,000 square-foot event space has four separate rooms that can accommodate parties ranging in size from 25 to 1,200. The space also offers every amenity you would expect of a luxury venue, from in-house catering and state-of-the art equipment to fiber-optic chandeliers and complex stages.

But for most partygoers, the big draw is the view. From the penthouse lounge to the heated rooftop garden, a casual stroll offers views of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and the Manhattan skyline.

“All of our guests leave amazed,” says Jack Toomey, the director of special events. “Once people see the view, they want to come back. We do a ton of repeat business.”

The guests aren’t the only ones who leave impressed. Frank Bruni, the former chief restaurant critic for the New York Times, called 230 Fifth “the ultimate rooftop experience.” 230 Fifth also routinely takes home the top marks from restaurant lifestyle guides, including “#1 Nightlife venue in New York City” in ZAGAT’s Nightlife Guide and “#1 Rooftop bar in New York City” by NBC.com. This hot spot is also a top choice for corporate events. According to Toomey, 230 Fifth has hosted over 1,500 events, including a number of opening night parties for films and corporate events for clients such as Goldman Sachs, Bergdorf Goodman, and the Foreign Minister of Germany.

Yet, in spite of the high volume of events, every bar or bat mitzvah receives extra-special attention from Toomey and his staff.

“The bar mitzvah is a memorable event. Sometimes even more so than weddings,” says Toomey, a 30-year party industry veteran. “We put more time and energy into it because we don’t do it every weekend.”

Toomey recently threw a bat mitzvah party that featured, among other things, a surprise musical performance from Grammy-nominated artist Flo Rida. The bat mitzvah girl was ecstatic and the event went off without a hitch. For Toomey, it all comes down to execution.

“I’m a realist. I’d rather know in advance that it’s going to work,” he says. “If we lose business because of honesty, that’s OK.”

At 230 Fifth, honesty has always been its policy. The venue was founded in 2006 by Steven Greenberg, a former banker who left Wall Street in the 1980s to operate some of the busiest luxury bars in New York, including the lounges at the Gramercy Hotel. Greenberg was a much beloved figure, and when he died of lymphoma last February, his will stipulated that the profits from 230 Fifth go directly to city hospitals, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering, New York-Presbyterian and Lenox Hill. Today, the venue helps fund some of the top medical programs in New York City to fund research.

Now, that’s what we call a mitzvah.

230 Fifth [230 Fifth Ave. (at 27th Street), New York, 10001, (212) 725–4300, www.230-fifth.com]

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