If you live in a chilly climate and you’re a devotee of dining outdoors, there are two seasons: winter and patio season.
Most members of the Tripleseat team are Northeasterners and we’re jealous of the warmer parts of the US where outside dining is a year-round event. When the snow melts and the days get warmer and longer, the dining al fresco crowd is eager to spend sunny afternoons and long evenings hanging out at restaurants’ sidewalk seating, decks, and rooftop bars.
It’s a win-win. Patrons enjoy a great meal, a cold cocktail, and gorgeous weather at the same time, and restaurants get busier. According to fastcasual.com, restaurants that add outdoor spaces see a boost in revenue of up to 30 percent.
In the spirit of preparing for patio season, here’s a look at some stunning seasonal and year-round outdoor private dining spaces of Tripleseat customers.
If you’re looking for an oasis, you’ll find it at Stirr. Their bar and lounge seating seem to go on forever, and their happy hours take up most of the afternoon and stretch into the early evening. Check out the Dallas skyline while enjoying drinks like A Girl from Dallas, Yes Way Frozé, and Thyme Will Tell.
Brit’s Pub & Eating Establishment, Minneapolis
The toughest decision at Brit’s Pub may be which outdoor space to choose. There’s the Nicollet Mall Patio, a great spot for people-watching and lounging at umbrella tables. Then there’s the Veranda, a sprawling patio on the second floor. Lastly, there’s the garden deck and bowling green where you can play — or watch — a lively game of lawn bowling.
Waterbar, San Francisco
Even if it didn’t have outdoor dining, Waterbar’s location next to the Bay Bridge guarantees amazing views of the San Francisco Bay from its dining room windows. And then there is The Looking Glass, an indoor/outdoor private event space for up to 50 people that overlooks the main bar and gives guests a close-up look at the Bay Bridge.
The Rustic, Dallas
When country music star Pat Green and the Dallas-based FreeRange Concepts team created The Rustic, there was no doubt that they would include a concert stage in their large patio area, known as Pat’s Backyard. When there’s not live music (the venue holds three to four shows a week), you can kick back and relax by the fire pit, at the picnic tables under white party lights, and in the colorful Adirondack chairs.
Rare Bar & Grill, New York City
What’s better than a delicious, juicy burger? A burger with a rooftop view of New York City. Rare Bar & Grill has more than a dozen specialty burgers on its menu and two locations to choose from — Murray Hill and Chelsea. You can see the Empire State Building, the MetLife Building, the Bank of New York Building, and the Freedom Tower from each location, but that’s where the similarities end. Murray Hill is made up of ve outside rooms and has a beachy vibe. Chelsea is cozy, laid back, and available year-round (it’s enclosed and heated). No matter which rooftop you choose, you can’t go wrong.
Aretsky’s Patroon, New York City
There’s something for everyone on the rooftop terrace at Aretsky’s Patroon: umbrella tables, comfy bench seats in the sun, tables for big group dinners, cozy corners for private conversations, and a huge zinc bar in an enclosed area. This space is perfect for occasions of any size, from midday lunch breaks to a wedding cocktail reception.
Salvation Taco, New York City
The open air rooftop at Salvation Taco is a blend of the old and the new. The building has original details from the 1910s, including red brickwork and terra cotta columns that are covered in ivy. At night, dine under twinkling white lights, and hang out at the bar for some modern takes on the margarita made with ingredients like agave, Hellfire Habanero Bitters, and guajillo chili.
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, Austin
The beer garden at Banger’s is like hanging out in your best friend’s back yard — if your best friend had enough picnic tables for 400 people, 103 beers on tap, a barbecue pit that can cook whole roasted animals, 30 types of homemade sausage, a dog park, and a live music stage built into the back of the house.
Pearl’s Rooftop, West Hollywood
Happy hour gets happier at Pearl’s Rooftop. The 1920s-themed restaurant offers a view of the glittering Sunset Strip under an ivy-covered pergola. Sit by the replace and check out the LA social scene while enjoying small plates, oysters, and a few cocktails.
Nashville Underground, Nashville
If you love rooftop bars, you’ll love Nashville Underground — this spot right in the heart of historic downtown Nashville boasts the tallest and largest double deck rooftop in the city. Dine on tapas, flatbreads, and a raw bar while enjoying the Nashville skyline.
The J. Parker, Chicago
As the rooftop restaurant of the Hotel Lincoln, J. Parker offers unobstructed views of neighboring Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan from its swanky patio — rain or shine. The restaurant has a fully retractable glass enclosed roof cover that can be closed in the case of inclement weather.
Acme Feed & Seed, Nashville
The rooftop of Acme Feed & Seed is more than a bar. The outdoor space has traditional lounge furniture, a special drink menu, and a view of downtown Nashville. But this rooftop is all about giving guests an amazing experience. On any given day, you’ll find a number of different events, from rooftop concerts, to weekend yoga classes, to all-night dance parties.
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Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Tripleseat’s Seated magazine, Spring 2018 issue.