When the weather is cooperative in Manhattan, one of the most fun things to do is visit a rooftop bar. New York has no shortage of rooftop bars, but Downtown had the pleasure of speaking with representatives from three of the city’s better establishments with rooftops:

  • Brenda Alvarez, Bartender at Mr. Purple
  • Kia Williams, Bartender at The Roof
  • Roman Tartakovsky, Beverage Manager at North River Lobster Company

    How would you describe your rooftop bar to someone who hasn’t been there?

    Brenda Alvarez, Mr. Purple: Mr. Purple gives great aesthetic pleasure to all who get to experience the space. It’s a very exciting rooftop bar and super fast-paced, not to mention the phenomenal views from our not one, but two terraces!

    Kia Williams, The Roof: I would describe The Roof as a yacht in the sky, with its anchor right in front of Central Park. You can people watch, gaze out on the unobstructed view of Central Park, and catch up with friends, while enjoying a delicious cocktail made with market fresh ingredients.

    Roman Tartakovsky, North River Lobster Company: The rooftop is probably one of the most unique rooftops in the city. It has two booth-style rows that run along the sides of the boat and a long communal table that acts like a spine in the center. There is some coverage from the sun towards the front and bar area however most of the deck is a sundeck. It’s a fun roof with basically nothing to block your views on all sides, considering you’re on the third deck you also have a sustainable amount of height off the water which I feel adds a little thrill. Wood tables and trim complimented by white railings and red/navy details give the look and feel of a New England lobster shack while still having some very nautical theming. Concept has a strong coastal community atmosphere while still appealing to the modern millennial with fun music and casual dress codes. You will catch families recluse from the heat inside as millennials bask in the sun on the rooftop with buckets of beer and glasses of rosé. All of this balanced out by quintessential North/East American fare really gives an authentic and unique feel to the vessel without being pretentious or overbearing.

    What’s your favorite item on the menu there?

    Brenda Alvarez, Mr. Purple: My favorite item on our cocktail menu is the bottled Negroni. It’s our signature negroni recipe, but carbonated and bottled in-house. The bottle is absolutely the cutest, no ice is needed! From our food menu, I’d have to say the sliders with smoked gruyere, three to an order with fries — cannot go wrong.

    Kia Williams, The Roof: My favorite item on the menu is the GG Old Fashioned; mine in particular (laughs). I haven’t been to many places that can compare.

    Roman Tartakovsky, North River Lobster Company: The rosé is the best choice for me. There is nothing like a glass of Cloud Chaser after a long day at work. To be able to enjoy this on a boat is even more special considering the festive atmosphere and valiant seafood options to pair with. In reference to food I would defiantly go with a new England classic lobster roll. You truly haven’t experienced NRLC unless you have a nice tasty sweet and buttery roll here. The marriage of sweet lobster, creamy sauce and buttery roll really completes the coastal feel of the concept.

    When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?

    Brenda Alvarez, Mr. Purple: In my spare time I study bees! One day I hope to be a full time beekeeper.

    Kia Williams, The Roof: When I’m not busy behind the bar at The Roof, my husband and I check out other cool bars and restaurants around the city. People call us the Jay Z and Beyonce of hospitality.

    The Roof / Photo: Gerber Group

    Roman Tartakovsky, North River Lobster Company: Lately I’ve taken a huge liking towards photography. I never realized what an incredible release you get from immortalizing moments into frames. The patience in waiting for the perfect moment stabilized by the careful focusing of the lens. Holding your breath for that last moment as you begin to apply pressure to the trigger. The satisfaction of losing the visual for a split second and the sound of the exposure being captured. Finally releasing that pent up breath and looking at the preview of the exposure. It almost feels like elements of creation, I can’t explain it with anything less than a rush.

    Finally, any last words for the kids?

    Brenda Alvarez, Mr. Purple: Come by Mr. Purple to have a drink or two, and take some great, unforgettable pictures of our view!

    Kia Williams, The Roof: When ordering a drink from your bartender or sever, I always recommend that guests look over the menu and first find their spirit of choice. I also suggest finding two cocktails that sound good and to ask your bartender or server to describe each one instead of asking, “What’s better?” Taste is subjective.

    Roman Tartakovsky, North River Lobster Company: North River Lobster Company​​ is an interesting product in the sense that we aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel but give you the best possible wheel we can give you. There isn’t a huge menu or a crazy amount of things to choose from. Just the right things to choose from to make you feel as though you have been transported on a mini vacation. With all the hustle and bustle in the city it’s hard to forget your in Manhattan. However, on The Destiny it can really feel like you’ve been taken away for a bit.

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