Head out to the downtown area in most major cities and you will find a number of rooftop bar and dining areas that offer iconic views of their respective downtown areas. In Little Rock most of the dining has been confined to the ground floor of buildings, offering only pedestrian level vistas. That is all about to change this fall when the first real rooftop bar and restaurant is set to open in the new Hilton Garden Inn at Rock and 4th in the River Market.
The new space will be a separate entity from the hotel, but still owned by the Pinnacle Hotel Group that also owns the hotel. It will give the 7th story spot the ability to be flexible and take a local approach at the menus.
“By keeping it separate we can be extremely creative with the design and menu. It will be a local spot, not a typical hotel bar and restaurant,” Pinnacle Hotel Group Development Coordinator Ross Patel tells us. “It will still take on a modern styling like the hotel, but it will be a noticeably different feel. For the bar and food menu we will taking a very local approach, hiring local bar managers and chefs to develop a menu unique to downtown Little Rock.”
The bar and restaurant are still unnamed. Patel says he is actively looking for a head chef and bar manager and will work with them to create the menus and theme, and ultimately the restaurant name will match the overall feel of the space.
The space will consist of two rooftop areas and an inside bar and restaurant area, each with beautiful views of the River Market, Downtown, and surrounding areas.
The main rooftop area will a high awning and misting areas to keep it cool in the summer. There will be a good mix of seating that includes pub level tables and chairs as well as lounge areas. They are also planning to add firepits for nighttime and cooler weather enjoyment. The main area includes a smaller service bar and a pass through to the main bar for drink service. Finally they plan to add a projector that will project on the wall of the outside of the stairwell for showing games and other entertainment during sports season. Patel says they may add a stage and music later on once they get going and see how people are using the space.
Inside will feature a large bar with floor to ceiling windows that frame views of downtown. Mixed seating will exist throughout with pub tables as well as booths. The corner of the room will be the premier seating area with wrap around views of downtown facing south and west.
The other rooftop area will be reserved for private parties and rentals. It is only slightly smaller than the main rooftop area and will not have permanent seating allowing the space to be flexible with the setup to accommodate a wide variety of different needs.
The bar portion of the menu is going to be strongly decided by the bar manager who is ultimately hired in terms of the theme and tone of the drinks. For the food side of the business, they are installing a wood oven that Patel says will ideally service much more than pizza, as well as a full kitchen. Talking with Patel, they are hoping to utilize the oven in ways that spaces like Oven and Tap in Bentonville or Bocca in Fayetteville use theirs. Think steaks, fish, meatballs, oven roasted veggies, and even desserts if the vision is pulled off well.
The hotel is set to open in mid August with the rooftop restaurant and bar sometime after.