According to Time Out New York's Essential NY issue, the essential birthday bar is LES standby The Magician:
A bar needs certain critical assets to host a birthday-bash. A separate space for to comfortably gather. An ambience that's festive, but quiet enough to converse. A jukebox stocked with the guest of honor's nostalgic favorites. Magician has all of these, which is why on a Saturday there you're likel to encounter revelers surrounded by wrapping paper. Better yet, go during happy hour (5-8pm), when you might have the place almost to yourselves and when most concoctions are in the $4 range.
Funny; not two weeks ago, the Village Voice annointed The Magician the "Best Overused, Overcrowded, and Overrated Bar for Hipster Birthday Parties." So now we're confused: Do we trust the Voice's boring list (Best Use of Lettuce, need we remind you?), or Time Out's equally boring round-up? The controversy is mind-numbing!