125 E 54th St, New York, NY | Directions 1001640.759488 -73.971087
Neighborhoods: Midtown Center, Midtown
Excellent Birthday! – I rarely write these types of comments, but I feel like The Volstead deserves it.
I planned my birthday party at this restaurant/bar this past May 8th. I had a group of about 30 people and had the best time.
I arrived at 10:00 and the doorman was a nice guy. He had my name on his list, wished me happy birthday and told us exactly where to go. All my friends received the same treatment. Although, as the night progressed some did have to wait 15 minutes or so to get in. Really not that bad if you think about it.
Inside, I did not get my requested location. But, I did enjoy where we were stationed. We had the entire side of the room which was perfect! The waitress was always available for a drink order - and brought them fast.
The music was good, and the crowd was cool. Many of my friends said I picked a great place. Overall - great time had by all!!!
I highly recommend this place.
Good Birthday Spot - "Reservation" Not as Promised – I planned a group birthday party at Volstead on Saturday, 1/16 for myself and 2 friends. I made a reservation for approx. 25-30 people. While they do not accept reservations for specific areas of the bar, I was able to give a preference. When I got there, I found out I was assigned to the area in the main thoroughfare of the bar - neither of my requested locations. Worse than that - my party of 25 to 30 was assigned to a table for 6 people. I spoke to the waitress and manager and they said that is how they do it. They expect people to stand. It was really disappointing as I had a lot of people coming who expected to be able to sit down and eat something. It wouldn't have been so bad except that we were right in the middle of where everyone walks through. I had some friends leave because they couldn't take getting shoved around.
Despite the location issue, the drinks were good and the DJ was pretty good so we had fun. I would consider going back for drinks, bu wouldn't plan a function there again.
Great Place for a Private Function – I had arranged to have my 60th birthday party at the Volstead, with about 30 guests. The management could not have been more accommodating. The space they gave us was perfect. We had our own nook, and our own dedicated wait staff. We were in a separate area but not totally cut off from the bar scene, the music, and the good vibe of the place. My parents, who are elderly, were made to feel very special by the manager, which I totally appreciated. The drinks were excellent and no one had to wait more than a few minutes for their drink order. We had a selection of their sliders, mac n cheese, steak sandwiches, chips and dip, etc. There was plenty of food, they just kept on bringing out more. Everyone remarked afterwards what a perfect place it was. I could not agree more. A great find!!
Mixed experience – The Volstead has a policy that requires you to make a "reservation" for a birthday party or whatever kind of party you're hosting - the latest one they take is for 10pm. You have to have a decent number of people there at that time otherwise they reserve the right to decrease your space. Fine. They say they will only hold your reservation for 15 minutes otherwise you may lose it. Fine. We expected over 50-60 people in and out all night, but we decided to be really conservative and make a reservation for 15 people. We, the hosts, showed up a few minutes prior to our 10 pm reservation along with a few siblings/friends. There was a party of 20-25 people having dinner in the section reserved for us. One waitress said we were to have half that area and that the party was just finishing up. 10 minutes later, the waitress that was to serve our party came up to us, apologized for the wait and said, to thank us for being so cool with waiting, we'd have a round of shots coming our way later (which we never got, by the way). Then that party got dessert. 15 min. later we approached the manager, Mike. He apologized for the wait and bought 6 of us a round of drinks. This dinner party didn't look like it was going anywhere and we had more and more guests arriving! Mike said he would start pushing them out, but it wasn't until almost 11 PM that we had our area. Oh, and instead of half that long section, we were now told that we had 1/3 of that section - that consisted of 1 table that could normally seat 6 people (3 on each side). But with the booth on one side and ONE chair that they left on the other side, we had 4 seats for our reservation for 15 people. When I said this wouldn't be enough room for 15, Mike basically blew me off saying that 15 people doesn't really mean 15 people. I wonder why other groups the same size as ours got the giant areas in the back and on the side. I've hosted a lot of parties, and I know what my turnout is like. Wherever I take my group, that bar makes a lot of money that night. I also know what kind of space we need. When I told him that we were told that we'd be given half that area, all he said was that waitress was mistaken. No apology for it and nothing to make up for not only having to wait an hour for our section but now having room for only 4 people. I asked if we could work with some other space and he basically said everything else was booked. This entire time my co-host and I were very understanding - especially for people who had guests waiting this whole time. My friend playfully said to Mike that we'd forget about it all for a round of shots. He simply said, "NO. Not when someone asks for it." He could have responded any number of ways. We're not ditzy girls that were going to be appeased with a free drink. We were hosting a party, reserved a space, complied with their policies and were treated very shabbily. If I didn't have to worry about re-directing the 50-60 friends and colleagues of ours who were coming in and out that night, I was ready to move the party elsewhere.
The ONLY saving grace last night was the DJ. I forgot to ask his name. But he played great music - from 90's R&B to dancehall to college bar rock to hip hop to 80's Whitney Houston- and had us dancing the ENTIRE time. And we love dancing. Thank you, DJ, for saving our night! Because of you we ended up staying for over 4 hours. (And he's the only reason I'm giving the place 3 stars instead of 2 or 1.)
When it gets packed, it's really really packed - not much room to move, much less dance - but we find a way to dance, regardless. The waitstaff was polite and helpful - but there was only so much they could do. The manager, Mike, was not helpful and did not make us feel like spending our money there.
I may come back to dance - I heard lunch is good there, too - but I am never bringing a party, or my friends' money, there again.
Chill for drinks & happy hour – Cool place for drinks after work. Crowded and full of business types. They have happy hour drink specials, but stay away from the Sangria. I'd come again, for sure.
Mediocre at best – Even the salads except for one have meat in them. There are no entrees for vegetarians and the one token gesture is a portabella mushroom burger. How unoriginal and not even that great.
Great New Changes – Awesome new Happy Hour!! Great new staff!!!
Overpriced and Rude – Not only are the drinks overpriced at this over-packed, bridge-and tunnel establishment, but the dumb coat check girl LOST my coat and then the manager called me a liar. Nice place. Won't be coming back here. EVER.
Party at the Volstead – I went to a friends birthday party here last saturday. We spent the whole night at the bar...had a great time! Didn't know that they sold bottles and to our surprise, they let us buy a bottle of Patron! Our bartenders were great...and it helped that they were both blonde and buxom. They partied right along with us! We were also greeted really well at the door by the doorman. It's nice to treated well when most of the time, the doormen don't give a @$&* about the people that are walking in. All in all, i will definately be back to the Volstead. Great way to spend a saturday night! Oh...great music too!
Had the greatest time at The Volstead! – Great place!
I just had my birthday party there this past Saturday night. We had the room off to the right. The waitress as well as the rest of the staff were great!! They were super friendly and sweet.
I dont have one bad thing to say about this place - It was an awesome birthday party!!
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