It seems that the claustrophobic feeling during the day is strengthening the evening’s hottest trend – the rooftop bars that have spread throughout the city. This summer every other roof offers a sea breeze and drinks. Personally, as a devoted bar rat, I was skeptical of the phenomena because I found it hard to picture a rooftop recreating the same atmosphere as a smoky, dimly lit bar. But because the words “trend” and “Tel Aviv” are synonymous in Wikipedia, I decided to investigate.
As befits our small city, overrun with people who love to go out, the rooftop bars quickly took over, and this summer there’s a roof for every kid and every mood. For example, for a date or a night out with friends, there’s the roof at Suzannah, on Shabazi, with a cool crowd that’s semi-Florentine-Neveh Tzedek – people who are pretty satisfied with their life choices but who don’t always embrace outsiders from northern Tel Aviv.
For those looking for a slightly more sleazy night out, there are many options…
The first is HaGag (The Roof) on Sa’adya Gaon (a veteran place) that offers a crowded, lovely experience comprised of Tel Aviv locals, as well as a busload of younger people from Herzliya Pituach/Rishon Letzion (depends on the night), a pretty good sound system, and if you’ve gotten tipsy, there’s the natural progression of descending from Mount Olympus, crossing the street and entering deep into Hades – the dark basement at the Dog, so that you won’t be exposed to the sunrise.
A newer roof that we checked out is atop the Marina Hotel, at Kikar Atarim. They’ve opened a bar alongside the pool on the hotel roof, with a view of the sea and lots seating areas. The clientele is comprised of people from a bus that runs from a Holon high school, alongside people who graduated from high school in 1993, out for a second round. It’s not homogenous at all. Unfortunately that’s not the problem, but rather the horrible sound system – an old boom box playing Air Supply. Maybe the sea breeze blew the wind out of our sails. It’s a nice place for the afternoon…
Another bar that should be noted is the Sublet, at Beit Gibor, though I’m sure it’s been mentioned before, so let’s skip over to the next roof.
The Vista, on the Migdalor building at the corner of Allenby and Ben Yehuda – has hosted many events this summer. As opposed to the makeshift feeling that we got when we walked in, I was pleased to discover a nighttime atmosphere (something that seems hard to supply in open places) and music reminiscent of neighborhood bars with matching clientele – not flashy, but friendly and nice. This is a good option for a night out with friends.
To sum up, during this humid season it’s actually nice to go out and enjoy the breeze and semi-fresh air, and there are already roofs available to meet everyone’s needs. I remain an AC woman, even in the dark, and am still addicted to the real bar atmosphere, where the four walls greet customers with a sensuous hug when you walk in and the sound blurs your senses. Go out and see for yourselves!