Rooftop Restaurants Prepare to Open for Season

by Katie Pyzyk February 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm 7,333 56 Comments

While some local outdoor cafes have been open for business already due to a smattering of warm days like today, the popular rooftop decks in the area remain closed.

The good news is they’re preparing to open soon. The bad news is you’ll have to wait a few more weeks.

Here is the current list of seasonal openings for Arlington’s popular rooftop establishments:

  • Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill — April 1.
  • Whitlow’s — Although the website says the opening will be March 8, an employee told us it will actually be St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
  • Clarendon Ballroom — There is no firm date. Management will decide after the threat of frost has passed, which could be anytime from March through the beginning of May.
  • Eventide — Late April is when regularly scheduled evenings will begin. However, the rooftop will be ready starting March 15 and may open on especially warm evenings.

  • Charles

    I’m still bummed that Crystal City Sports Pub on South 23rd didn’t add a rooftop space when it renovated the upper floors a few years ago. What a missed opportunity!

    • DarkHeart

      Cost of liability insurance?

      • Charles

        Yeah, I wondered about liability fears though Clarendon places don’t seem to worry. The Snuggery, the bar that the Sports Pub built over (but didn’t replace), used to get lots of pilots & crew from National knocking backquite a few…

  • CrystalMikey

    Love me some rooftop.

  • JimPB

    Which, if any, have good views?

    • Tabs

      Arl Rooftop Grill or whatever it’s called is well-protected from wind and has pretty decent views.

  • dallynd

    At least they CAN open if they like, unlike the Westover Beer Garden, which IS open with fire pits but waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    • SteamboatWillie

      Wait, WBG can’t open or it can’t open ahead of the seasonal schedule that these listed outdoor places are adhering to?

      • Cheryl Hightower

        which seem to follow all sorts of different dates…wonder why??

        • South Arlington

          Because each restaurant gets to choose when their “season” closed is. None of them guessed that this winter would be so mild, yet only one business owner is now complaining that they chose their “season” off poorly. The rest just deal with it and continue on.

          • Lando Calrissian


            WBG owner needs to grow up.

            When I learned of a beer garden near my house, I really was excited to give it a try when the mercury rises. However the owner’s whiny attitude and insistence on not following the same protocol as other restaurants has dissuaded me.

          • JamesE

            Lando, will you be offering outdoor seating in Cloud City?

          • Lando Calrissian

            With complimentary hermetically sealed chambers.

          • Larchmont


  • yeah

    I have my giant balcony overlooking Arlington. Rich people don’t need roof top bars.

    • awh hells bells

      Thanks for quarantining yourself, there are already enough d-bag posers out and about.

      • Charles

        and name-callers online

    • drax

      Thanks for your comment, Mitt.

      • Patrick

        How can you be sure it isn’t our ultra wealthy senator Mark Warner? Drax your partisanship knows no bounds.

        • Josh S

          Um, because Warner hasn’t been in the news recently having made some truly tone-deaf comments about being rich?

          • Mitt Romney

            Mark Warner? That guy is small potatoes. My two Cadillacs would crush him.

          • It is funny how rich Democrats are critical of a rich Republican. We have the blind fighting the blind in this country. When did it become such a crime to be successful? Hypocrites.

          • Mitt Romney

            Thank you for your support. You’re fired.

          • drax

            Nothing wrong with being rich, OB. People make fun of Mitt because he’s so clumsy about talking about it. He just can’t stop himself. Did you hear his NASCAR comment? Way to connect with the common folk there, Mitt.

          • nom de guerre

            You must mean your “wife’s couple of cadillacs.”

          • Mitt Romney

            I would like to enjoy the rooftop views, but the trees in Arlington are too tall. Why can’t we have some just the right height Michigan trees?

          • Dan Snyder

            Just cut them all down.

        • drax

          I picked Mitt because he’s, like, in the news lately talking about how rich he is (unintentionally), whereas Mark Warner is not. You know, being topical with my humor.

          You are free to make all the jokes you want about that hilarious, whacky Sen. Mark Warner. You’ll be a hit on the standup circuit!

      • JamesE

        I bet he knows some NASCAR owners

  • Cakes

    If I ever am caught at Clarendon Ballroom, I’ll make sure to swan-dive off the rooftop. -The worst.-

  • Lurina May from Luray

    Rumor has it that Whitlow’s may take part of the rooftop for chicken coops. Fresh eggs for their WOW omelets. Recommend CBallroom do the same for chicken dance contests.

  • Charlie

    Most of the talent is right in front of you. Views out to the world are irrelevant.

  • Not your bro

    Eventide has a great view, I love it up there.

    Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill has some of the worst food I have ever had. So if you’re going there to hang out and drink, be sure you eat somewhere else first.

    • That’s interesting

      I’m not going to lie that I guess you’re in the majority cause I’ve heard some terrible things in reviews about their food, but the few times I’ve chosen to eat when out it’s not only been really good and reasonably priced with giant portions (more than I can eat alone often), but I’ve had the head chef carry the food out himself multiple times to greet the table. Maybe I just have great timing and I’m there when he’s there and when he’s not it’s a B team or something, but I’ve been there with huge groups (often in mass w/out a reservation is when the food would be hurried and bad) and never had a problem… in fact everyone’s loved it. Oh well. I’ll cross my fingers that I stay lucky. 😉

      PS- Management has always great (all 2 evening guys we’ve interacted with… not sure how many there are total), the one complaint at my table was about a meat temperature and it was taken care of right away and brought back faster than would’ve been expected.

    • Agree

      I agree the food is terrible there. I wanted to like this place so much but the food is just horrible.

    • CW

      Strange; I’ve found the food there to be very, very good and of a quality beyond what you would expect for the price. I’ve only gone there during day/dinner hours and not during Arlington frat party bar hours, so maybe that’s the difference?

      The reviews of the place I’ve read have been largely positive.

      • Not your bro

        I was there for lunch about a month ago, it was quite bad. I agree that they’re trying to make it higher end than your average pub, but I think they have missed the mark so far. My portion was very small, the soup was really bad, the sandwich was ok but small, sloppily made and not worth the price.

        On a different note, I also noticed that the furniture and walls were pretty beat up already, I assume from the evening crowd.

        I’m glad a few other people have had better experiences.

        • CW

          Yeah I’ve been on nights at like 6 PM and sundays at like 4 or 5 up on the roof and it’s been good stuff. Big sandwiches and burgers with lots of decorations. The pork burger was really good. I always see people ordering this lobster and avocado salad that looks delicious…

          • Agree

            I went for dinner and later came back for lunch hoping the dinner was just an off night. Both the dinner and lunch meals were terrible. Hopefully they make some changes and I start to hear good things. It’s a really cool little space and the rooftop is nice in the spring, I just can’t get over the poor food I had :(.

          • That’s interesting

            I’m with you that I’ve never had bad food there, though I have to add the experience in general has always been good. Nice staff/management/bartenders, etc. but there must be consistency issues because I’ve heard others who have gone at different times/dates than me and they have pretty low reviews of the food. Funny thing it’s usually really good or really bad, very little in the middle. Maybe they just need a better (or just need a) sous chef?? It’s likely when their main guy isn’t there that their B squad takes over. Who knows. Glad I’m not the only one that’s had good food there though… I’d like the place to stick around.

          • Not your bro

            So after reading this thread this morning, I decided to give it another try. I just went there for lunch.

            Unfortunately, the experience was still bad. Very slow service, although they were not crowded (they should probably encourage the bartender to help the waiter out a bit more, and they would fix this.)

            They screwed up my order, which was a drag.

            The food was ok, but not anything special, and it’s not that cheap, either. I had the chipotle pork burger, for the record. It was fine. The fries were really mushy on the inside.

            So, I still stand by my original post: I’ll go and have a beer on the roof this summer, but I’m not going to eat anything there.

          • my guess

            I agree that I think it’s based on the times you go and the staff. It shouldn’t be, but I think it is. I don’t believe lunch is their peak at all. I wonder if they’re looking at more catering efforts to lunch parties because their standard office lunch fair isn’t so hot. BUT I was there with a large group of coworkers for a lunch party and the $5 lunch sandwich options were not only delicious, but huge portions for the price.

            Seems like consistency is the issue. Though it’s hard to sell people on that because some people seem to have consistently bad or consistently good experiences.

            Oh well, my vote is a plus. I’ve never had bad food or service, so I guess I’m with the other lucky ones on this list. ::Fingers crossed that doesn’t change now. Ha!::

          • CW

            Yeah, thanks for the field report – too bad to hear it’s no good for lunch. Guess I’ll stick to the weekends. Thanks for taking one for the team.

          • Not your bro

            yeah, you owe me now, CW 😉

      • Tabs

        Totally agree. Best brunch food I’ve ever had.

        Spotty service though.

  • nunya

    anyone know if there will be a bar or restaurant at the top of the new tower in rosslyn? i know there will be an observation deck, but a place to hang with views like that would be cool.

    • choogirl

      It is my understanding that there will be a bar with a 360 view. It’s already my favorite place.

    • Agree

      What tower is this? Is it already built or something soon to be built?

      • nunya

        they are building a new tower over the existing metro entrance.

        • Agree

          Oh that’s cool. It’ll have to be pretty tall to be able to see over the existing buildings. Anyone have a link to this new building?

  • drax

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