I’m know I’m not the only one who hates to have ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to them in public. It’s an embarrassing spectacle enjoyed only by the very young or the very drunk. I’m no longer the latter and never the former, so when my friends take me out for my birthday, the night always begins with my honest plea for no singing and no flaming desserts.
They always agree, but I never believe them. Free floating anxiety lurks beneath the surface until finally the inevitable silence falls on the table. I cringe as my friends eyes dart around the table, preparing for the approaching wait staff: grown men and women sporting party hats and beaming smiles, all lit up by the birthday candles on top of the cake my friends promised not to give me… ahhh, such is life. It’s a cultural thing we all have to deal with and luxury problem, to be sure.
Here are my top 5 places in Boston where your friends can break their word and throw you that party you say you don’t want:
Dick’s Last Resort
1 Faneuil Hall Square
Quincy Market Bldg.
Boston, MA 02109
Hours: Mon-Sun 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
website and info
Dick’s is a fitting name for this place, since the waitstaff is basically instructed to act like one to visitors. People go there for that reason, so it’s cool. I do feel bad for people who don’t know, though – there should be a sign… Anyway, this place has live music every night, so it’s more than festive. Plus, it’s in Faneuil Hall, which has a cool celebratory vibe anyway. And the waitstaff will make you this elaborate birthday hat (below), grudgingly, yeah, but still, it’s something. And they’ll jam a fork holding lit matches in a dessert and sing happy birthday to you.
The Living Room
101 Atlantic Ave (between Richmond St & Cross St)
Boston, MA 02110
Hours: Mon – Sun 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
This place is perfect if you have lots and lots of friends. For $1,500 bucks you can rent the VIP room and jam as many people as possible in there. This includes tip. If you have two friends it’s probably not a good idea, since it’s still $1,500 bucks. They will also accommodate a DJ or live band based on your request.
102 Waltham St (between Ringgold St & Tremont St)
Boston, MA 02118
Hours: Open Mon-Wed 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.; Thu – Sat 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Sun 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
This place is awesome… if you’re rich. Private little room in the South End where you and up to 10 friends can have the famous Chef Barbara Lynch cook for you around a gorgeous, square table. Prices start at $280 per person, not including alcohol. They have Pandora piped in so you can request anything from classical to hip-hop. Make sure you give them at least a two-month notice and they are more than accommodating to dietary needs.
541 Tremont St (between Hanson St & Milford St)
Boston, MA 02116
Hours: Mon – Fri 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. / Sat – Sun 10:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.
website and info
Beehive is the complete package. It’s a restaurant, a bar, a night club and a lounge. Because of this awesomeness, you want to get your birthday crew here early. They’ll let you book private areas and have lots of different pricing options, for example: Dinner option: 2.5 hours for 15-160 guests includes dinner and live Jazz on Beehive stage $45 – $80 per person depending on menu option. Or, Cocktail option: 3 hours, 7 passed hors d’oeuvres, 4 party platters and 1 dessert table and/or passed mini desserts for $85 per person.
745 Boylston St (between Exeter St & Fairfield St)
Boston, MA 02116
Hours: Mon – Fri 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m. / Sat – Sun 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
The restaurant feels like the inside of a Milk Dud. It’s like Willy Wonka for people who like to drink. Food-wise the restaurant menu is absolutely decent enough – it’s really the novel desserts that make this spot stand apart for birthday celebrations. Max’s extremely bubbly staff will bring out everything from tiny candy squares jammed with candles, to chocolate syringes (we’re not in Kansas anymore) for the table to share. And of course, there’s the inevitable chocolate martini served 15 different ways to Sunday, from the full stocked bar, which is open til 2am.
Do you have a favorite birthday spot in Boston? Share in the comments!