You only get one 21st birthday in your life. From that point forward, all future birthdays will only be anniversaries of that ceremoniously drunken rite of passage. Basically, it’s just a sleigh ride into adulthood after the big 2-1. That said it’s absolutely imperative that you do this right. YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT!
Before you commit to a location, there are a few steps to ensure a night you’ll only be able to relive through secondhand stories.
- Rally the troops. Use Facebook, mass text, group email, soup can telephone, WHATEVER. Get your people together and decide who’s ready to get you legally drunk. *Note: This is often a very good test of friendship if you are considering a Facebook friend overhaul.
- Get a DD (designated driver fool!). The last thing you want to worry about on your special sloppy day is transportation. Either decide on taking cabs or asking a couple friends to man up and be sober chauffeurs.
- Pick an outfit. You want to look your absolute most fabulous, but think ahead. Five-inch heels? A tie and vest? Dress not only to impress, but also for success. Choose clothes that are easy to move (dance or fall down) in and items that are stain resistant (bodily fluids, beer, vodka, dirt, lipstick…)
Once these items are crossed off your list, it’s time to pick the place. Let’s just be clear, the venue doesn’t need to be epically expensive to have a legendary birthday.
Boston – Wonder Bar
It really doesn’t matter if your birthday falls on a weekend this year. Wonder Bar has things happening every single day. With two dance floors, a full kitchen, and DJs, DJs, and more DJs, you’re guaranteed a fantastic time even on a school night. If you’re looking to go a little more upscale than a casual bar meet up, check out their party packages, bottle service, and private rooms.
- Wonder Bar
- 186 Harvard Avenue, Allston, MA 02134 (617) 351-2665
Chicago – Beaumont Bar & Grill
Looking for a place everyone will enjoy? Look no further than Beaumont Bar & Grill. Trying to please the whole group on your birthday can be a drag, so why not choose a fun place that has something for everyone. From private parties, to a burger bar, to karaoke, you can be assured you and your friends will have a rocking time. Why get dressed up to get sloppy? Come on in to get down!
- Beaumont Bar & Grill
- 2020 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60614, (773) 281-0177
Los Angeles – The Happy Ending
The only place you’re going to find a frat party…outside of a real frat party is at Happy Ending. Dancing, drinks, food, karaoke, beer pong, sports, and a wheel of fun. Have your pals meet up, or book a private party in their upstairs room. Either way, you’re going to have a blast drinking the night away right on Sunset Blvd.
- The Happy Ending
- 7038 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028, (323) 469-7038
New York – Mehanata Bulgarian Bar
Mehanata Bulgarian bar boasts the title, “the ultimate multi-national drunken-Balken disco dive bar extravaganza.” Um…YES, PLEASE. With DJs, performers, and events happening basically every night of the week, you can always pop in for a spontaneous celebration. However, if you’re planning ahead, they offer “The Ice Cage” (New York’s sub-zero vodka drinking room) and party packages. If you book a VIP party with Mehanata, you get a free party bus. Just know that the bar has a four tooth minimum dress code. That’s right. Enjoy.
- Mehanata Bulgarian Bar
- 113 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 10002, (212) 625-0981
San Francisco – Kozy Kar
The ultimate dive bar, Kozy Kar is the perfect place for the 21-year-old with a whacky heart. The bathroom floor is covered in Playboy pictorials, and yes, there are two water beds. Cheap beers, nice folks, and a weird-ass atmosphere will leave you questioning whether your entire birthday was a strange hallucination.
- Kozy Kar
- 1548 Polk St (between California St & Sacramento St), San Francisco, CA 94109, (415) 346-5699
Washington, DC – Madam’s Organ
The slogan reads, “Where beautiful people go to get ugly.” If that isn’t a perfect 21st birthday party endorsement, we don’t know what is. From blues nights to karaoke, Madam’s Organ is an inebriated good time. The free pool tables and year-round rooftop deck provide enough activities to keep both boys and girls entertained for hours on end.
- Madam’s Organ
- 2461 18th Street, Northwest Washington D.C., DC 20009, (202) 667-5370
Whether you’ve got $3.00 or $3,000 to spend on your birthday, you’ve got options. No matter where you end up, or whatever happens, as long as you don’t remember any of the photos from your friends’ Facebook albums, and can’t understand why you’re wearing someone else’s clothing the next morning…we think you had a successful 21st birthday.