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The Amazing Hidden Gem Among NYC's Private Event Spaces

The Way Back Bar at Piggyback will bring your event to the next level.

The Way Back Bar at Piggyback
The Way Back Bar at Piggyback
Photo: Courtesy of Pig & Khao Hospitality Group

For those who appreciate good food and drinks, finding a top restaurant near Madison Square Garden and Penn Station that satisfies those cravings can be... difficult. Sports bars and Irish pubs abound; however, if you're looking for a restaurant with truly delicious food in a sophisticated yet fun setting, let's just say your options are extremely limited.

Piggyback NYC, located on 30th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, is the second restaurant from Top Chef star and Rising Star Chef award winner Leah Cohen. Chef Cohen's first restaurant, Pig & Khao, has been a Lower East Side staple for a decade, serving up Southeast Asian cuisine influenced by Cohen’s Filipino upbringing and her annual expeditions to the region.

Piggyback, the younger yet much larger sibling to Pig & Khao, broadens Cohen’s culinary inspiration to include nearly all of Asia—from Vietnam and Myanmar to Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines—based on her immersive culinary travels throughout the continent. Piggyback has become the spot for anyone that knows a thing or two about good food and restaurants, whether they find themselves heading to a game or show at MSG or emerging from the bustling and chaotic halls of Penn Station and in need of tasty, authentic Asian flavors with soul.

What you may not know is that tucked away behind Piggyback's sliding doors in the rear dining room is one of New York City's greatest private event spaces. Similar to how Piggyback is the answer to the plethora of generic burger joints, mediocre pizza spots, and quick service "bowl" restaurants in this part of Midtown, the Wayback Bar (the fun name given to this hideaway space) is chef Cohen’s answer to all of the dull, corporate, cookie-cutter event spaces that litter this area.

This is an event space with wow factor. The Wayback Bar offers an ambiance like no other, with 18-foot ceilings rising above its large 2,000-square-foot footprint, its own full-size billboard (that can be customized, by the way), an incredible wall of vintage speakers, a huge projector screen, DJ booth, and bathrooms that are more than Instagram- or TikTok-worthy.

It's perfect for those looking for extra levels of privacy. There is an entirely separate entrance to the space that doesn't require you or your guests to walk through the restaurant when you arrive or depart. It also comes with its own bar area that can service the private space and act as the perfect reception area for guests to hang and mingle before taking a seat. We mentioned the bathrooms, and it's worth noting that both of them in the Wayback Bar are private to that space (restaurant guests have two of their own). If privacy is your thing—as it is for many after-parties for featured artists and athletes coming from MSG—there is no better place.

This space itself is about as versatile as it gets. There is enough room for groups of 45 to enjoy a seated dinner, up to 125 people for a standing reception setup, and everything in between. Table arrangements, the layout of the space, and numerous aspects of decor can be tailored to fit all sorts of events and brand activations. For those looking to make an impression, the Wayback Bar is great for showing off your NYC culinary prowess, hosting the coolest company/brand event, or simply throwing a full-on bash.

The team at Piggyback NYC and the Wayback Bar bring top-notch service with decades of collective experience. Get in touch with the Piggyback events team by emailing [email protected].