10 Unpretentious Rooftop Bars in the City

By Serena Solomon on August 15, 2014 7:41am | Updated on August 15, 2014 5:36pm

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 A rude doorman and snobby crowd doesn't have to ruin your night at a rooftop bar.
10 Unpretentious Rooftop Bars
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NEW YORK CITY — A rude doorman, strict dress code and all-round snobbery won't take away from watching a dazzling New York City sunset at these rooftop bars.

While some high-end open-air venues feel exclusive and out of reach, dozens of other rooftop bars around the city offer a no-fuss spot to have a drink a little closer to the stars.

Here are 10 options:

City View Lounge, 93 Bowery in Chinatown

Sitting atop the Wyndham Garden Hotel on the 19th floor is the City View Lounge, with unobstructed views of One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building. The bar attracts mostly quiet hotel guests as well as New Yorkers in search of a bigger party, with promoted events held a level down in an indoor space with floor-to-ceiling windows. The rooftop is open from 5 p.m. until midnight with a happy hour until 8 p.m., according to City View's Facebook page.

The Brass Monkey, 55 Little West 12th St. in the Meatpacking District

In a neighborhood that has many exclusive rooftops, the Brass Monkey offers a "casual and comfortable" ambience without the velvet rope, according to operational manager Marisol de la Rosa. The bar is open from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. every day. It attracts a mostly professional and local crowd during the week as well as hospitality workers unwinding after a shift thanks to the Brass Monkey's late close time. The bar stocks more than 100 kinds of beer along with a substantial wine and cocktail list. Drinks range from $7 to $15.

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Gallow Green, 542 W. 27th St. in Chelsea

Gallow Green sits atop the McKittrick Hotel, which is the home of immersive play "Sleep No More." But this rooftop bar is an experience itself. Guest are taken in a vintage elevator to a "whimsical secret garden" setting with potted and hanging plants, according to Cesar Hawas, the hotel's "special envoy."

"It's a very democratic space and is open to all," he said. Drinks range from $8 to $16, with shared punch bowls starting at $60.

Gallow Green is open Monday through Thursday for after-work drinks and dinner, closing at 11 p.m. On Friday and Saturday the space closes at 1 a.m. and it is open for brunch Saturday and Sunday.

Above 6, 6 Columbus Circle in Hell’s Kitchen

Above 6, located atop the Six Columbus Hotel, has a deck that's dotted with cushioned lounges and candles to give it the feel of an open living room. The retractable roof allows drinkers to stay outside in wet weather.

Beer, sake and cocktails range from $7 to $23 for a single serving. Patrons also have access to the menu from the Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill located at the hotel's ground level.

POD 39 Rooftop, 145 E. 39th St. in Midtown East

The 100-seat colorful rooftop on top of the POD 39 Hotel is sandwiched between Midtown skyscrapers.

"The space has terracotta columns, brick arches, climbing ivy and panoramic views of some of the city's most notable landmarks," said Scott Yo, the hotel's general manager.

The bar attracts a local after-work crowd that mixes with young travelers staying at the hotel, Yo said, adding that occasionally there is a line to get in. Draft beers are $8 and cocktails are $13. POD 39 Rooftop is open in the warmer months from midday until 2 a.m. most nights.

The Heights Bar and Grill, 2867 Broadway in Morningside Heights

The Heights reopened in April after closing for almost four months due to water and smoke damage from a neighboring fire. Since reopening, the Heights has bumped up the quality of its lunch and dinner menus with new chef Rafael Almirante, who has focused on locally-sourced ingredients, according to bar manager Raul Quines. The bar has resumed its happy hour special of $5 margaritas as well as $3 mimosas for its weekend brunch. The bar is open seven days a week with lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, Quines said.

Sunset Lounge, 32-72 Steinway St. in Astoria

The Sunset Lounge has 360-degree views thanks to its sixth-floor spot in the low-lying neighborhood of Astoria. 

"You see all the way from the Freedom Tower to the George Washington Bridge," said Elyse Williams, the lounge's marketing and event coordinator.

The outdoor lounge seating is filled mostly with locals and it is open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday and Thursday. Fridays and Saturdays it is open until 3 a.m. and there is a Sunday brunch.

Z Roof, 11-01 43rd Ave. in Long Island City

The Z Roof on the top floor of the Z Hotel provides a 360-degree view including a closeup of the Queensboro Bridge and the Chrysler and Empire State buildings behind it.

The bar is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The Rock Shop, 249 Fourth Ave. in Park Slope

The Rock Shop is a music and sports bar that attracts a laid-back crowd of local residents to its roof deck, which holds up to 80 people, according to the bar's office manager Eva Nowakowski. Basic pub fair of burgers and wings is available. From Sunday to Thursday, The Rock Shop is open until 2 a.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays it shuts at 4 a.m.

Above Roof, 1100 South Ave. in Staten Island

The Hilton Garden Inn's newly opened 6,900-square-foot rooftop, Above Roof, gives revelers views of the Verrazano-Narrows and Bayonne bridges as well as the Manhattan skyline. Above Roof is only open from 9 p.m. until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays. Cocktails are priced at $14, and bottle service and a food menu are available.

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