Party on Top: Rooftop Bars For the Summer

by April 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm 4,337 2 Comments

Borderstan, Thomas Circle NW, Donovan House Hotel, Luis Gomez Photos

The view from the rooftop of the Donovan House Hotel at 14th Street and Thomas Circle NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

This post was co-authored by Alejandra Owens and Laura Herman. You can follow them on Twitter at @frijolita [email protected], respectively. Also check out One Bite At A Time, Alejandra’s personal food and cooking blog.

Despite some truly schizophrenic weather lately, it’s that time again. It’s time for flip flops and dog walks and wine drinking on patios or boozy spring nights on a rooftop overlooking the city. Our food writers have put together a list of all the rooftops and patios in Borderstan — this is the first installment of a two-part series and we’re starting with rooftops.

While the list isn’t as long as the patios list, our rooftop views in Borderstan are nothing to scoff at. Sweeping city views and the twinkling lights of our great city are excellent backdrops to sipping on a refreshing cocktail on a hot summer night.

Where are you guys excited to be drinking and dining this spring and summer? We have put together our list of great rooftop spots in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area, 11 total. Which places would you add?

Alejandra’s Favs

  • 1905 Restaurant, 1905 9th Street NW (upstairs). Sip on a refreshing Torrontes, nibble on lobster meatballs and tuna tartare while listening to some jazz. The opening date for this rooftop is TBD, construction is in progress.
  • Lost Society, 2001 14th Street NW. I’m looking forward to this rooftop, slated to open late May. Sipping a cocktail on the slatted wood deck and noshing on lounge snacks while watching the hustle and bustle of U Street below sounds like it will hit the spot!
  • Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U Street NW. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s fun. While it gets very crowded on Summer weekends you can always order food from the kitchen, smoke on the east end of the deck and enjoy the fab view of the corner of 9th and U Streets.
  • Local 16, 1602 U Street NW. A favorite of Laura’s, too, Local always has a fun vibe, twinkle lights and good music. Perfect for a steamy Saturday night.

Laura’s Top Rooftops

  • Eighteenth Street Lounge, 2112 18th Street. This my go-to after work happy hour venue. Sip a glass of wine on their lovely back patio and get there early enough to enjoy the mezze appetizer spread.
  • Jack Rose, 2007 18th Street NW. It’s slated to open this spring/summer and it looks like they will have a roof/outdoor dining space. Given how much I enjoy its sister restaurant and bar, Bourbon, I can’t wait to check out this new neighborhood spot.
  • Local 16, 1602 U Street NW. This is one of my favorite spots for transitioning a rooftop happy hour into an evening out. Arrive early after work (it gets crowded!) and stick around all night to enjoy the breeze.
  • Marvin, 2007 14th Street NW. This is also a great roof spot, perfect for enjoying one of the many beers on tap and some of the best chicken and waffles in town.


4 More Rooftops in Borderstan

  • DIK Bar, 1637 17th Street NW. It’s Dupont Italian Kitchen’s upstairs bar. The patio area is very small, but very very lively on nice days and nights. You will hear the laughter before you figure out where it’s coming from.
  • Donovan House, 1155 14th Street NW. It’s the hotel rooftop pool bar and it’s right on Thomas Circle. The views are great, especially to the north (14th Street) and northwest (Massachusetts Avenue).
  • Lauriol Plaza, 1835 18th Street NW. This 18th and T spot has a large shaded rooftop dining area (great for hot sunny days when you need some shade). You’re right on the cusp of the Dupont, U Street and Adams Morgan hoods.
  • Public Bar, 1214 18th Street NW – A great place between downtown and home in Borderstan.


Subscribe to our mailing list