Refuge on the roof: A sampling of some of the citys best rooftop dining destinations

What better way to spend a nice summer evening than on a rooftop of one of the city’s hottest nightspots with your friends, a cold drink in hand and a breathtaking view of the skyline as your backdrop? There are several restaurants worth checking out in Downtown and Southwest. Here’s an overview of a handful of rooftop venues.

Solera

Where you are: 900 Hennepin Ave.

What you’re drinking: Sangria, which has a special price of $2 a glass.

What you’re eating: Paella, a Spanish rice, is the restaurant’s signature dish. There are many versions of this dish, but the Paella is constant.

Why you’re there: To watch a movie. This summer Solera is featuring “Movies on the Rooftop.” On most Monday and Tuesday nights through September, a movie will be shown and a drink will be featured. For example, Movie: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”; Drink: Mimosa. For a full schedule, visit the restaurant or find the schedule on Solera’s website.

How many people are there: Rooftop occupancy is 60 people, but private reception-style events allow for 100.

Happy hour: Solera has two types of happy hour. One from 4–6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and another “late night” happy hour: 10 p.m.–12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 p.m.–1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

338-0062
www.solera-restaurant.com

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Stella’s Fish Café

Where you are: 1400 W. Lake St.

What you’re drinking: The Purple Mojito, which is made with Bacardi Limon, mint leaves, sugar, pomegranate juice and fresh lime.

What you’re eating: The Florida Stuffed Grouper, Stella’s signature dish. The Director of Operations Gary Windschitl recommends the Blackened Swordfish as well.

Why you’re there: For the Friday night karaoke.

How many people are there: Rooftop occupancy is 60 people, but the restaurant has accommodations for groups up to 350.

Happy hour: 3–6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 12–6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. There is a second happy hour 9–11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and then 10 p.m.–12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

824-8862
www.stellasfishcafe.com

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Uptown Drink

Where you are: 1400 Lagoon Ave.

What you’re drinking
: Some kind of fruity multi-alcohol concoction. Possibly The Drink (Finlandic Lime, Island Blue Pucker, margarita mix and Sprite); Drinkatini (Cruzan coconut rum, Island Blue Pucker and pineapple juice); Cherry Popsicle (cherry McGillicuddy, Finlandic Wildberry, white cranberry juice, margarita mix and garnished with lemon); Cranberry Explosion (Stoli Razz, Stoli Vanilla, Watermelon Pucker, cranberry juice and Red Bull); or The Cougar (Bacardi Limon, triple sec, Rose’s Lime, sugar, Sprite and soda water).

What you’re eating
: All-you-can-eat crab, the Wednesday special. Each day has a different special. But the menu is still new, so there aren’t necessarily favorite menu items yet.

Why you’re there: To take advantage of the location and overlook the heart of Uptown.

Happy hour: 4–7 p.m. every day. Half off drinks and appetizers.

824-3333
theoriginalfunbar.com

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Seven Sushi Ultralounge and Sky Bar

Where you are: 700 Hennepin Ave. Seven Sushi Ultralounge is located on the second floor of r.Norman’s Steakhouse, and the Sky Bar is on the third floor.

What you’re drinking: The Purple Mojito, which is made with Bacardi Limon, mint leaves, sugar, pomegranate juice and fresh lime.

What you’re eating
: The White Ninja is the most popular specialty maki. It is spicy tuna, asparagus and avocado wrapped in white tuna and garnished with tobiko and sesame chili oil. Guests also have an opportunity to order from both the r.Norman menu and Seven menu.

Why you’re there
: Before or after a show. The Sky Bar offers spectacular views of the Hennepin Theater District and its famed theater marquees.

How many people are there
: Rooftop occupancy is 60 people, but the restaurant has accommodations for groups up to 350.

Happy hour
:  4:30–6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Some sushi, domestic beer and wine glasses for $4.

238-7777
www.7mpls.com

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Joe’s Garage

Where you are: 1610 Harmon Place

What you’re drinking: A bootleg — lemon-limeade pureed with fresh mint and added to vodka or gin and soda water.

What you’re eating: One or two scoops of mashed potatoes topped with a variety of meats, vegetables and sauces.

Why you’re there
: To take in great views of Loring Park, Downtown’s skyline and the Basilica of St. Mary.

Happy hour: 4–6 p.m. and 10 p.m.–midnight, Monday–Friday (half-priced tap beers, house wines and rail drinks). Half-priced appetizers 4–6 p.m., Monday–Thursday.

904-1163
www.joes-garage.com/

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Brit’s Pub

Where you are: Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall

What you’re drinking: A bootleg or a Guinness

What you’re eating: Fish and chips (ale-battered cod served with “chips,” or fries)

Why you’re there: For the lawn bowling. Brit’s has the only outdoor lawn bowling establishment in the city. “We’re known for our outdoor space,” said Andrew Marson, a Brit’s manager. The scene depends on the season. “Summertime is what we’re known for. In winter, we’re a big holiday party destination,” said Brit’s General Manager Shane Higgins. “Summertime is when it is really rocking.”

How many people are there
: The occupancy for the main deck area is about 500 people and the veranda holds 300.

Happy hour: 4:30–6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

332-3908
www.britspub.com