Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill Now Open

by ARLnow.com December 6, 2010 at 11:57 am 6,719 30 Comments

Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill in Courthouse is now open and awaiting its first customer. (Update at 12:00 p.m. — And just like that, the first customers have arrived.)

This seems to meet the definition of a “soft opening.” So far, there’s nothing that would indicate to passersby that the unmarked door near the Subway on Wilson Boulevard leads to a swank new restaurant with a dozen employees waiting to applaud their first official customer. (Yesterday’s “friends and family” preview doesn’t count.)

The restaurant features two-story high ceilings and huge windows overlooking an inconspicuous part of Courthouse. The menu features American-style favorites and some surprises, prepared under the leadership of Aldrin Asencio, a chef who counts a number of bold-faced local fine dining restaurants — including 2941 in Falls Church and Roberto Donna’s former Galileo restaurant in the District — among his resume.

The restaurant is a bit hard to describe: it’s a mash-up of a number of different styles. The oldies pumped through the speaker system, the Prohibition-era woodwork behind the bar, the generally upscale, modern surroundings and the reasonably-priced menu — together defy easy comparisons.

General Manager John Cosgrove says Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill is “an upscale sports bar with food that exceeds expectations.” There are plenty of flat screen TVs to watch sports on, for sure, but it’s wholly lacking tacky sports memorabilia on the walls, distinguishing it from just about every sports bar in the area.

The rooptop part is built, but it’s not ready for customers. Expect it to open at some point this spring.

More photos after the jump.

  • Guest

    Do you know if the rooftop is gonna be heated?

  • mehoo

    That makes four rooftop bars in the Clarendon/Courthouse area next summer that I can count – time for a rooftop pub crawl.

    • BArasian

      Another rooftop bar….whoop dee dooo. That’s just what Arlington needs another copycat restaurant.

      • mehoo

        Yeah, they are all pretty much the same these days. Lots of wood and metal, rustic yet fancy, and overpriced. Except for Whitlow’s, which is going to have a Tiki theme rooftop bar.

        But it’s on a roof!

      • Newt

        Then don’t go!

        • mehoo

          But I like to drink on a roof. That outscores the bland Clarendonized decor, menu, and clientele, at least for a while.

  • Thanks for the post. I have been eyeing the construction for sometime and am glad to hear it is finally open. Will there be happy hour specials? I may just have to stop in to find out!

  • a’town

    looks really nice inside. this place could be a great neighborhood hangout spot. I think they could be similar to Rhoadeside Grill (but nicer and newer) if they play their cards right

  • CrystalMikey

    Nice, can’t wait to check out the rooftop in the spring!

  • DudeGuy

    Looks like a nice place! I just hope their food is good for the price, they have a great selection of beers, they don’t have LONG LONG lines and after 10pm it does not get Arlington Ghetto/Drity guys hitting on girls (ie Ballroom Rooftop after 10pm)

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  • NovaHo

    I’ll be there with my easy sistas!

    • mehoo

      Someone already warned us about you internet “girls.”

  • LPS4DL

    What’s the address? Did you think to ask the proprietor where the restaurant is located?

  • trying to find a bar

    consistently missing from arl.now’s coverage is the address, or cross streets. kinda burying the lead sorta thing.

  • el fat kid

    look forward to trying this place out but not sure about the name, kind of limiting in appeal to potential customers… they’ll rack up during spring and early summer but there are several times of year, today for instance, where ‘rooftop’ does not sound appealing, even though they do offer indoor seating.

  • eslater

    “Upscale sports bar”? Sounds like jumbo shrimp to me.

    • CountCork

      “Jumbo Shrimp”? You clearly didn’t do your homework.

      Menu is online: http://www.arlingtonrooftopbarandgrill.com/menu.html

      • mehoo

        Definition of “oxymoron” is also online, CountCork.

        • CountCork

          D’oh! Thanks mehoo.

          • mehoo

            But maybe they will serve jumbo shrimp.

  • AA

    I had the privlege of attending the “family and friends” night, and quite frankly it was an great experience. Yes, it was training night, but I would have never noticed, the whole place was full of positive vibes, good conversations, and tables of people not wanting to leave. The full bar looked great and classy!

    Contrary to some opinons stated above, I thought that this place was quite different than the other local restaurants.. I’m looking forward to going back!

    Check it out and see for yourself, i’m sure you’ll be pleasently surprised!

    • Arlington born and raised

      I also was pleased to go to the F&F opening and the staff was kind, knowledgable, and everything (food, service, atmosphere, and crowd) was really good. Your friends and family are the first people to hope you’ll be successful, but tell you if they don’t think you will and I’d be totally honest if I didn’t think they had something good going. This is a great scene for Arlington and both my friends who came with me enjoyed themselves so much they very seriously said they intended to come back with other people in the near future. Rumor had it the bar area was full all evening on their first official (Monday) night open.

    • mehoo

      In what ways is it different? I’m genuinely curious.

      As far as decor goes, it looks like your standard Arlington wood-and-metal-brown-flipflops-ten-dollar-appetizer-flat-screen-TV-with-the-sound-off-Blue-Moon-and-Yeungling-on-tap joint.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go there and give it a chance, but that’s just what the decor looks like in the pictures.

      • a’town

        what do you have against ppl who wear brown flip flops? do you wear socks with your sandals or something?

        if you dont like the yuppies in arlington, then move. we wont miss you.

  • Also Arlington Born and Raised

    I had the pleasure of going to both the “soft” and grand opening, and I agree with everything my fellow Arlingtonian has to say. From someone who has seen the Clarendon area grow from a parking lot to what it is now, someone who has been to it all, tried it all and seen it all in Arlington, I kid you not – this place is something special. The menu, beer and wine list is exceptional. The food is like nothing else you can find in Arlington. Frankly, this IS just what Clarendon needed – a classy place to wine and dine with friends without missing any action of every sporting event on TV (there are even flat screens in all of the bathrooms, above the men’s urinals and on the walls). Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill completely surpasses its competitors, if you can even call them that. My guess is that these negative comments are coming from the management at Whitlows, Mister Days, Clarendon Ballroom, and Spider Kelly’s. As someone who frequents all of those bars as well, this place is on a completely different level from a food, beverage, aesthetic, service and overall quality perspective in general. If you don’t believe me check it out for yourself – even if it didn’t have a rooftop I would be there on a regular basis, so don’t feel like you need to wait until Spring to check it out.

  • V Dizzle

    I was born in a dumpster. This place lookes like a great addition to the neighborhood. I like how they were copycat about serving food and beer.

  • Novanglus

    I had lunch there this week — food and service were great, management was friendly and accommodating, and the roof isn’t as frat-partyish as feared. It’s definitely more Eventide than Whitlows, but unique in it’s own right.

    I take back my comments on an earlier post.

  • craybee

    after looking at the pictures i was really looking forward to trying the place out until i read that they are a sports bar. what’s up with all the sports bars in clarendon? this area is becoming a little too loud, drunken, stupid frat/jock boy central for my taste.


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