by Donna M. Airoldi | April 13, 2011

New York certainly doesn’t lack meeting and event space, but here are four new noteworthy additions.


On the eastern edge of Midtown sits this sleek 16,000-square-foot meeting and event space that features beautiful modern design and state-of-the-art technology, including touch-screen-activated presentation walls and Wi-Fi throughout. Located in the Alexandria Center for Life Sciences–NYC, Apella is managed by Backal Management Group—headed by renowned event planner Arthur F. Backal, profiled in a recent cover article by Incentive’s sister publication Successful Meetings. Planners can choose from 10 private rooms, many of which have floor-to-ceiling windows and stunning river views, as well as a gorgeous lounge for receptions, complete with chrome-and-leather hanging window swings. Apella uses Riverpark, Tom Colicchio’s new fine-dining restaurant, and his ‘wichcraft sandwich shop exclusively as caterers. Both are located on the first floor of the Alexandria Center.

450 E. 29th St., 2nd floor; (212) 706-4100;;


harvest room

The Harvest Room at the Brooklyn Winery; above, Apella


Brooklyn Winery

This Williamsburg-based wine bar and winery is one of the coolest new spaces to open in New York in the past year. Not only can groups enjoy wine tastings paired with seasonal menus, but they also can taste from barrels during different stages of the wine-making process, participate in blending sessions, and—for those working for generous companies—even produce their own custom-label barrel of wine, which makes for an enticing corporate gift opportunity or incentive reward. (The standard package is $3,550 for 144 bottles and four tickets to various events; the $5,700 premium package includes 288 bottles and eight tickets.) The 8,000-square-foot facility can accommodate up to 300-person groups and comprises the main Wine Bar; the Harvest Room (also called the Barrel Room), where the wine is made; the Parlor Room, which overlooks the Harvest Room; and the Portrait Room, with comfy sofas and a view of the Wine Bar. An outdoor patio is due to open in time for the spring and summer season. A major Wall Street institution utilized the venue during its recent two-day global conference, as did the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. In addition, all of the materials used for the interior are antique or reclaimed, right down to the 1940s wallpaper.

213 N. 8th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; (347) 763-1506;

Metropolitan Suite

The Metropolitan Suite, located on the second floor of the Metropolitan Pavilion, provides planners with a new eco-friendly 8,500-square-foot, loft-like space, with north and south exposures and 15-foot walls. The owners retrofitted the long space with sustainably harvested, chocolate-stained oak flooring; plant-fiber-based tiles; low-heat-waste ceramics of recycled material; and energy-efficient LED track lighting. Planners can choose from a variety of preferred caterers, and the space is equipped with Wi-Fi and ADA compliant.

123 W. 18th St.; (212) 463-0071;; 

The Ember Room

The Ember Room provides a welcome alternative for planners looking for an upscale yet intimate entertainment space west of New York’s theater district. The restaurant features two acclaimed chefs—Todd English and Ian Chalermkittichai—who created a menu fusing Asian and American barbecue. The dishes are made to be shared, and the heavenly baby back ribs braised in Valrhona chocolate fall off the bone and are a must for just about any gathering. Roy Nachum designed the two-story space, which features an open kitchen; rich, dark natural woods; Chinese symbols covering the two-story wall near the entrance; and covering the upper-level ceiling, 3,000 bells imported from Thailand. The venue is open for both lunch and dinner and can accommodate up to 250 for a cocktail reception, 160 for a seated meal.

647 Ninth Ave., between 45th and 46th Streets; (212) 685-4353;;