This spring’s bizarrely warm weather has given us the taste of summer, and sent us on quests for rooftop bars. Here’s a great one for you and the kids: Rooftop Brewing.
Last week, during the record-high April temperatures, we plopped ourselves on the rooftop of Rooftop Brewing Company. All around us, folks donned ball caps and shades; the coconuty scent of sunscreen was in the air.
The soundtrack looped from The Beach Boys to doo-wop and back. A mother swayed with her toddler to “Runaround Sue” while other kids graffitied the wall with chalk.
Come one, come all. Rooftop Brewing Company is an all-ages venue with a deck and indoor tasting room, and below it, a 15-barrel brewery. It sits off the south Ship Canal bike path. Its sign: “Bridge Up? Beer over here!”
And here is where crowds have gathered in recent days, lining up before doors open at 3 p.m., as if it were Black Friday.
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Among them: some office workers who — cough, cough — called in sick to take in some self-prescribed vitamin D; a middle-aged man having an existential crisis who said, “I got my divorce papers today. So that’s good news.”
The rooftop — capacity 49 — holds six picnic tables, half of the space covered under a louvre trellis, remote-controlled by the bartender to cut into the record heat.
The view isn’t exactly penthouse. But squint hard, and there’s a glimpse of tall masts and tall mountains beyond. The breeze comes in from the Sound across the fishing trawlers of Fishermen’s Terminal, and Salmon Bay clanks and growls with industry.
The freakish mid-80-degree weather made the tap list seem out-of-season — lots of dark beers and big IPAs meant for April showers and windy nights.
One could combust with those potent brews on this aberrant summerlike afternoon. And so the bartender politely steered the hop heads away from the dry Stargazer IPA to the easier drinking, tropical El Dorado IPA.
The refreshing blood-orange wheat beer Glorious Basker would work, too.
No kitchen. But there’s free popcorn by the water cooler. That was good enough — until it wasn’t.
A few IPAs in, patrons started to inquire about something more substantial to eat.
The woman behind the bar said the food truck comes every day at 4 p.m. She paused and corrected herself. “Maybe 4-ish.” She paused again to clarify. “Hmm … Between 4 and 5?”
At 4:42 p.m., a Curbside Burgers & Brats truck pulled into the lot. Kids jumped for joy. One dude walked around the picnic table to buy another round. And all felt right again under the sun.
Rooftop Brewing Company, 1220 W. Nickerson St., Seattle, is open daily, 3-9 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 3-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday and noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Beers $5. Coke and other sodas available. Food truck parked daily in the lot. (206-457-8598 or rooftopbrewco.com)