The Meetball Place in Farmingdale.

The Meetball Place in Farmingdale. Credit: Marisol Diaz

You're never too old for a birthday party — even if you have to plan it yourself. And plenty of adults, Long Island restaurants say, are doing just that these days.

There’s an adult giving a birthday party for themselves almost every weekend at The Refuge in Melville, so much so that the restaurant even offers special packages for these events, according to manager Tanya Narang.

“We do a lot of them, it’s pretty common for us,” Narang says. The parties are given by both men and women, generally range from about 10 people to 60 or more, and are either informal cocktail parties or sit-down dinners.   

While it's particularly popular among people celebrating milestone birthdays — such as their 30th, 40th or 50th —  a lot of restaurants find that adults don’t want to wait around for someone else to give them a public birthday party, so they take it upon themselves. And this is nothing particularly new.

Christine Hartt, manager of That Meetball Place in Farmingdale, says women in their twenties are giving themselves birthday parties at the restaurant, often with a familiar formula.  “Usually they arrange it and it’s like, ‘I’m going, who’s coming?’” Harrt says. “They wear sashes and crowns as if they’re a bachelorette so the whole place knows whose birthday it is.” Routinely, she adds, it's the guests — not the host — who are expected to foot the bill.

The Refuge offers two packages for these parties — including a two-hour option for $49.95 per person that includes beer, wine sangria, chips and dip, an assortment of pizzas and a mini buffet with pasta, salad and chicken. "We’re able to book two of those a night and still have room for the public,” Narang says. The restaurant’s lounge area is perfect for the festivities, since it’s closest to the restaurant’s deejay, allowing partygoers to make music requests.

Denise Burns of Huntington says she’s had a rough few years, including getting through a divorce, so this year she gave herself a 49th birthday party earlier this month. About 30 people came to her Huntington home — not a restaurant — for an afternoon of professional massages, tons of food and drinks, and singing that lasted until after midnight.

“I always thought that would be kind of weird — giving a birthday party for yourself,” says Burns, a wellness coach.  “I’ve struggled with depression, so I wanted to celebrate life and I wanted to do this at the moment I wanted to do it — I wanted to celebrate life and my health.”

Don't think birthday parties on Long Island are just for kids — restaurants, entertainment centers and other venues on Long Island are hosting soirees for plenty of adults these days.


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