by Celia Shatzman, Time Out New York contributor, 07/07/2010
- more in nightlife/
4 Berry St., 718-782-2829, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
With unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline, 16 beers on tap and just-right breezes, this beer garden is a good place to unwind. The expansive space—the rooftop is 3,000 square feet—is filled with the requisite biergarten communal tables and frequently features DJs and live music, including acoustic bands on Sundays. Expect an affable crew from all over the City, specifically the type who will make the most of the dartboards. What’s more, unlike at other neighborhood locales, hipsters are sparse here—so are attitudes, creating an optimal spot for kicking back with an ale.
Glass Bar at Hotel Indigo
127 West 28th St., 212-973-9000, Chelsea, Manhattan
The bar name is quite literal here: The perimeter of the 20-story rooftop is lined with glowing glass walls and is topped by a retractable glass roof when Mother Nature calls for it. Expect specialty cocktails like the Spicy Rita (Jose Cuervo, triple sec, jalapeño syrup and fresh lime; $17) and the Blu Martini (vodka infused with blueberries and oranges, St. Germain, triple sec and lime; $12), along with the stunning scenery of Chelsea. Stop by on Mondays from 8 to 10pm to catch jazz music performed by the Michael Fredo Orchestra. There’s no real dance floor, but that doesn’t stop the mix of patrons—some tourists, more locals—from showing off their moves.
Gramercy Park Hotel Private Roof Club
2 Lexington Ave., 212-920-3300, Gramercy, Manhattan
Those hankering to feel like an insider should look no further than the Gramercy Park Hotel rooftop. Though the club is open to both hotel guests and nonpatrons, you’ll need a reservation and a staffer to unlock the penthouse elevator for you. As soon as you arrive at the 18th floor, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful people and A-list celebs—Drew Barrymore, Jack White and Sofia Coppola have been spotted at the bar. But don’t let the crowd distract you from the transporting bohemian decor: Take in the secret-garden-style open patio, and feel the stress just melt away.
Lucy’s Cantina Royale
1 Penn Plaza, 212-643-1270, West Midtown, Manhattan
Thanks to surfboard-inspired tables and bait and anchors adorning the walls, you can practically hear the ocean in this Baja-surf-themed cantina. Climb the steps to the roof deck, where you can observe the hubbub of Penn Station while sipping on a passion fruit, guava, pomegranate or blood orange margarita (inside $9; outside, cruelly, $11). The food isn’t stellar, but what the venue lacks in culinary excellence, it makes up for in convenience, delivering a quick after-work escape.
65 Grand St., 347-223-4599, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
This Spanish restaurant offers a Your Death in Spain cocktail (cava, orgeat, mint and Pernod; $11) that will taste especially refreshing up on its rooftop, paired with a view of the Williamsburg Bridge, Manhattan and the open sky. Settle into the sophisticated decor—white tiles and brown wood tables—and alternate sips with snacks, including fried yukon patatas bravas ($5) and croquettes (three for $7). If the food feels familiar, it’s because this newer locale has a sister restaurant, Mercat, in NoHo.
For the complete list of rooftop getaways, visit Time Out New York.