Roof Garten is here for a good time, but it certainly won't be a long time. Slated to exist only in the summer of 2016 the restaurant / lounge is a bright, sunny, lavish space with a rumbling DJ booth and shimmering wait staff. Having been lucky enough to be the first customer through the doors on their first day I feel a kinship with this place which, no doubt, will last all summer '16.
The giant windows look out onto the corner of Granville and Smithe Streets, across from the Cinema Public House, and the entrance is just south on Smithe. I might suggest wearing sunscreen if you attend one of their signature Veuve Clicquot Champagne brunches as the roof is glass, the walls are glass and they enjoy unobstructed sunlight in the afternoon; an absolutely amazing atmosphere!
When you exit the elevator you will be amazed by the detail and level of finishings that have gone up in this "pop-up patio". I don't know know about you, but when I go to pop-up snowboard or shoe sale they often have a handwritten sign on the back of a piece of loose leaf they've staples to the wall and not professional signage costing, I'm sure, in the thousands.
The main focal point is a 30 foot long wooden table that rivals the giant Redwood Sequoia slab at the Long Table Distillery for which they're named. It sits alongside a DJ booth with enough equipment for a damn Kiss concert; you won't see any student alt/rock bands centre stage at Roof Garten!
Along with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne, which is divine by the way, we partook in some pretty incredible Caesars, the highballs were generous and well crafted and the beers came out icy cold and tasted like their draft beer equipment is tip top.
The food was also fantastic! I had, being brunch, a Crab Eggs Benedict and we also ordered a Breakfast Poutine. The crab was very nice, the eggs cooked to perfection in both dishes and they both paired well with our "shake off the rust from Saturday night" Caesars.
The managing partner at Roof Garten, Jens Marquardt, was on hand welcoming the many well-heeled patrons. Bottles of Clicquot, Dom and Ace of Spades were on constant parade to their final homes accompanied by large sparklers which celebrated the art of inebriation in a most fitting way! Go for the view, go for the food, go for the drinks or go for the crowd, but go; just go!
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan