Williamsburg Rooftop Bars Heat Up as the Temperatures Rise

By Meredith Hoffman on May 14, 2013 7:54am 

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 From spacious and central to intimate and tucked away, local roof bars are gearing up for the summer.
Williamsburg Rooftop Bars
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WILLIAMSBURG — When he puzzled over the perfect way to add outdoor access to his vintage trailer-turned-eatery, Jorge Boetto wasn't satisfied with the typical patio or sidewalk cafe.

"New Yorkers love outdoor seating, but Metropolitan Avenue can get pretty noisy with truck traffic for sidewalk seating," Boetto said of the home of his soon-to-open Latin restaurant Zona Rosa. "We thought that the location was ideal for a roof bar overlooking a nice little corner of Brooklyn."

Zona Rosa is among a handful of new and recently revamped rooftops offering revelers fresh views of Williamsburg as the weather starts to warm. Restaurateurs agreed that North Brooklyn's rooftop bars are "few and far between," so DNAinfo New York is here to help you scout out the options.

Night of Joy Bar, 667 Lorimer St.

Night of Joy's popular rooftop bar has been open for years, but this spring owners are completing a facelift replete with lanterns, a canopy and abundant greenery.

"We wanted to open up the space," said owner Jen Armstrong, noting that a "little shack" formerly housed the bar on the roof. "We have antique lanterns strewn all across the roof now, and we're adding a canopy...for shelter in case it rains."

Frozen lime margarita happy hours are offered daily on the elevated patio — an 800-square-foot space that opens each evening at 5 p.m. from April through November, and occasionally hosts afternoon parties and events.

"There's something about where we are that keeps it breezy and cool on hot summer days, which is nice," Armstrong added. "The roof is always crowded, even when it's rainy."

Juliette, 135 N. Fifth St.

If you don't feel like waiting until 5 p.m. to sip a cocktail while peering down at passersby, this well-known French bistro welcomes patrons as early as 11 a.m. to its cheery yellow tables and fully stocked bar two blocks from the Bedford Avenue L train station.

Whether you're craving lunch, dinner, coffee or a drink, a bamboo cover and red umbrellas shields guests from an unexpected shower. The closing time is 11 p.m. weeknights and midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

The Ides at the Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave.

As soon as it opened last summer the Wythe Hotel's roof — with an inside bar and outside mingling area — was a hit. The East River, sunsets, Manhattan skyline and extensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn are all within view once you ascend the popular hotel's elevator to the sixth floor.

The neighborhood's highest rooftop bar (open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays and from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekends) draws visitors from around the city and the world.

Berry Park, 4 Berry St.

Bordering McCarren Park, Berry Park, like Night of Joy, just gave its well-known roof a makeover. A retractable glass cover now keeps the bar open in volatile weather, and even year-round, staff said. The space opens early, at 11 a.m. weekdays and noon weekends.

Larry Lawrence, 295 Grand St.

Tucked in the back of this earthy brick-and-wood joint, Larry Lawrence's patio is an elevated nook between buildings that stays charming through its modesty. The narrow outdoor space is a place for revelers to bring their drinks and get some air away from the often-crowded bar.

Zona Rosa, 571 Lorimer St.

Zona Rosa's roof will be open starting June 1 with table service and a bar, owner Jorge Boetto said of the upscale version of his Mexican food truck. He has not determined exact hours of the roof but said it would not stay open "too late to respect our neighbors."

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