Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 06 June 2014
Rooftop Lounge at Pod39 Hotel- Murray Hill: Drink Here Now

Our correspondent vowed to have a drink at every single bar in Hoboken and did so successfully with Spirits in the Sixth Borough. Every Friday morning, we’ll pick up where he left off, showing you distinctive bars in each New York City borough perhaps for the very first time, perhaps to refresh your memory of a fun place you’ve ducked into, or perhaps to suggest a new spot for you to check out as you gear up for the weekend. You can follow our sudsy travels every week with’s “Drink Here Now.”

Rooftop Lounge at Pod39 Hotel
145 East 39th Street near Lexington Avenue, Murray Hill
Getting There: 4,5,6,7,S to Grand Central-42nd Street

The rooftop extension of Salvation Taco is in full swing now that the weather is warm, though you’d be best served to have a friend leave work by 4:30pm if you have any chance of securing some space there. That said, the Rooftop Lounge at Pod39 Hotel is an absolutely awesome summertime haunt that’s sized perfectly enough to feel exclusive. And it’s got a festively Mexican inspired outdoor atmosphere that lets even long time City dwellers act and feel like they’re on vacation.

The 17th floor of the hotel opens up to a wide open roofdeck overlooking Midtown. Lines of lightbulbs are draped across the entire space overhead from the Aztec-like pillars which light up the rooftop at night. The small rectangular bar becomes the immediate focal point of the area with its black and white striped roof visible from street level and the swarm of young people that surround its every inch. With speakers in just about every corner, the background music- almost all hip hop during my visit- only adds to the energetic ambiance where the tables that outline the entire roof and the hightops, all with first-come, first-serve availability are almost all filled up.

It’s a seasonal rooftop bar in a burgeoning neighborhood especially for young folk, that sits above a taco restaurant inside of a hotel spawned by celebrity chef April Bloomfield. What I’m trying to hint at is that if you’re looking for cheap drinks, you’d be better served to try somewhere else. The Salvation Taco food and drink menu is a bit more limited on the rooftop, where beers run from $7-$10 and cocktails are $13. Pitchers of sangria and margaritas are a whopping $65 range as well, so just be prepared to whip out the wallet for any extended stay. But the strawberry-jalapeno infused “Firefly” ($13) is particularly tasty and pairs well with the $7 “Chips & Salsa.” Basically if you can stomach the cost of goods, you’ll really enjoy yourself here.

The Rundown

Bar Type - A fantastic hotel rooftop bar that is way more casual than it is pretentious.

When to Visit – The scene here is buzzing at Happy Hour so be forewarned that you’ll need to arrive early for any chance at being comfortable. That said, the place is fantastic to kick back and stick around for a couple of hours- though you’ll pay out the nose. Our advice? Early evening on the weekend for a few drinks is perfect. The crowd has thinned some before dinner and after the daytime and the scorching sun should still suit your pale arms just fine.

Value - Rooftop. Hotel. April Bloomfield restaurant menu. They are not doing you any favors.

The Lowdown – There are no shortage of places attempting to capitalize on the ‘summer in New York’ phenomenon and with a preponderance of patios and gardens and rooftops opening up year after year, you’d think you’d be able to find some room at one of these places. But the Rooftop Lounge at Pod39 is as relaxing a setting as any of them and if timed properly, there’s no excuse to not enjoy yourself here. From the tasty drinks to the breathtaking views to the packs of likeminded people, trying to enjoy themselves just as much as you are, this is an ideal spot to wet your whistle just before the sun becomes unbearable. In other words, ‘Drink Here Now.’

- Alex Corrine

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