LATEST PAPER
51° Good Evening
51° Good Evening
Eat and Drink

Kentucky Derby day: NYC events, parties, specials

It’s time to dust off your seersucker suits and outlandish hats.

The Kentucky Derby is on May 5. And although the annual race is held more than 700 miles away at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, there are plenty of ways to get in the spirit right here in New York City.

Because it lands on Cinco de Mayo, some bars are celebrating "Cinco de Derby" or "Derby de Mayo," mixing the food and décor of each event into one party.

So, whether you’re all about the mint juleps, Southern eats or the horses, here’s where to watch the "greatest two minutes in sports." And it goes without saying, your finest Derby day attire is strongly encouraged.

Refinery Hotel

You'll feel like Eliza Doolittle or Professor Henry
Photo Credit: Refinery Hotel

You'll feel like Eliza Doolittle or Professor Henry Higgins at this lavish event that includes three different experiences -- "the hat box," a rotating pop-up space that will provide an "in-field experience," which is open to the public, a prohibition-style bar inside Winnies Jazz Bar that will act as the winner's circle, and the Refinery Rooftop, which will host the main event called "Millionaires' Row." Dress to impress -- hats and bow ties are "strongly" recommended. Tickets include access to all three spaces, a four-hour open bar with Maker's Mark mint juleps, GH Mumm, Champagne and rose, a raw bar, hors d'oeuvres, Kentucky Derby specialties, live music and DJ set, and a number of pop-up experiences (a photo booth, a pocket square monogram station, a hat decorating station, betting windows and a best dressed contest). ($125, 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., 63 W. 38th St., Manhattan, universe.com)

The Peninsula New York

Celebrate
Photo Credit: The Peninsula New York

Celebrate "Derby de Mayo" with a blending of traditions -- sombreros and seersuckers, mint juleps and margaritas. There will be Herradura margaritas and mint juleps from Woodford Reserve, tacos and barbecue, a live band and more. Come dressed for the occasion. ($125, 4 to 8 p.m., Salon de Ning, 700 Fifth Ave., eventbrite.com)

Boulton & Watt

The bar will be transformed into a makeshift
Photo Credit: Oleg March

The bar will be transformed into a makeshift Churchill Downs with artificial turf, inflatable horses and Derby duds. From 3 p.m. on, there will be four specialty cocktails served. After the race, the party will turn into a Cinco de Mayo party with snacks and drink specials. (Free entry, 3 p.m., 5 Ave. A, boultonandwattnyc.com)

Pete's Candy Store

Pete's Candy Store's 121st annual Derby Day Bash
Photo Credit: Churchill Downs Historical Society

Pete's Candy Store's 121st annual Derby Day Bash is back with its millinery parade and contest, featuring handmade hats, a "taco experience" by Nic Westerman for Cinco de Mayo, a discothèque and more. (Free entry, 3 p.m., 709 Lorimer, Brooklyn, petescandystore.com)

Hotel Chantelle

This rooftop party promises a fashionable time with
Photo Credit: Hotel Chantelle

This rooftop party promises a fashionable time with derby styles, DJ sets and mint juleps. Tickets include one free drink. ($20, 4 to 8 p.m., 92 Ludlow St., Manhattan, eventbrite.com

Root & Bone

Get some Southern comfort food and unlimited bourbon
Photo Credit: Root & Bone

Get some Southern comfort food and unlimited bourbon mint juleps, Kentucky mules, rosé and sparkling wine at this derby party. ($60, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., 200 E. Third St., Manhattan, eventbrite.com)

Maison Premiere

This Williamsburg bar's annual Kentucky Derby party brings
Photo Credit: Maison Premiere

This Williamsburg bar's annual Kentucky Derby party brings together live jazz and barbecue (and oysters) as the race is broadcast over the radio airwaves. Oh, and there will be mint juleps, of course. Have a classic or try a riff stirred up by a Maison bartender. (Free entry, 2 to 8 p.m., 298 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, maisonpremiere.com)

Saxon + Parole

The restaurant takes its name from two 19th-century
Photo Credit: AvroKO Hospitality Group

The restaurant takes its name from two 19th-century racehorses that competed in the Kentucky Derby, so, naturally, it's hosting a party. Indulge in unlimited derby-style food, including fried chicken, cornbread, oysters, seafood towers and roasted pigs, as well as some mint juleps and rosé. Live bluegrass tunes will float through the air as you watch your horse cross the finish line. ($140, 3 to 7 p.m., 316 Bowery, Manhattan, facebook.com)

Berg'n

Come thirsty. Berg'n promises a mountain of mint
Photo Credit: Berg'n

Come thirsty. Berg'n promises a mountain of mint juleps. The fun starts at noon and the race will be shown on the beer hall's big screen at 6:30 p.m. (free entry, noon to 11 p.m., 899 Bergen St., Crown Heights, bergn.com)

Eat and Drink photos & videos