As we all try to squeeze as much activity in these last days of summer as possible — It is still summer, right? The grey skies and chilly temps are just a joke? — chances are every New Yorker has at least considered heading to one of the city’s many rooftop bars and restaurants to take in the view and the bites — and to use the excuse to wear all of those end-of-the-season fashion pieces you haven’t gotten to yet.
We turned to the manager of one of the hottest spots in New York City, Refinery Rooftop, to get the best tips for handling the scene. Rob McGovern of In Good Company Hospitality/Ref Meet Rooftop shares his insider knowledge below:
1. Be prepared to share your food. Not with strangers, unless that's your thing, but with your friends. The menu at most bars is designed to be shared, so you and your friends can nibble on a little bit of everything. I suggest a flatbread, burrata toast, and disco tots — though I typically keep all the tots for myself.
2. Use coat check. Rooftop bars can get a bit busy in August, and finding a safe place to stash your bag can be tough. Let us worry about your bags.
3. Make a reservation. Waiting in lines can be one of the more frustrating parts of going out; a reservation is the easiest way to alleviate that unnecessary stress. If you’re heat-sensitive, request a table inside. If you're making last-minute rooftop plans, steer clear of Prime Time. Come early or go late to increase your chances of avoiding the crowds and scoring a primo seat.
4. Take advantage of the season. Ask your server/bartender if there are dishes that feature seasonal ingredients and order them while you can. For example, if giving back while you drink is your thing, try our I Give A Sip charity slushy.
5. Make sure you have your phone charged and ready for your Instagram or Snapchat moment. Every rooftop bar boasts a no-filter-needed view of the city, so be prepared to enjoy it and don't forget to tag your favorite bar.
6. Visiting for a special occasion? Be sure to mention that when you're making your reservation. Rooftop bars are in the business of making sure you have a great time with your great view. We appreciate any and all excuses to bring sparklers to your table!
7. When in doubt, order fries. They're a fan favorite and easy to snack on while standing in a crowd. They're also the quickest way to make friends, if you came alone. Say hi, share your fries, ask if you can take that selfie for them, be polite. Did I mention the fries?