Thick blankets of fog might have its arms wrapped around San Francisco, but Marin County almost always offers a sunny reprieve from Fogust in the city. And as of August 2, there’s a new perch from which North Bay customers can enjoy an al fresco cocktail with a side of sweeping views. Above Fifth, the first rooftop bar in San Rafael, opened its doors atop the new AC Hotel San Rafael at 1201 Fifth Avenue.
The bar’s food menu will rotate seasonally, and, to start, offers just over a dozen or so small and sharable plates including warm Marcona almonds scented with rosemary, roasted carrot hummus served with vegetables and flatbread, and a grilled cheese sandwich made with Bordenave’s sourdough and Point Reyes Toma cheese. For seafood lovers, there are also chilled or baked oysters, Dungeness crab, and a sea bass crudo; meaty plates include Petaluma chicken souvlaki and a grilled steak crostini.
On the beverage side, the bar serves a list of nine cocktails some of which stick close to the classics — for example, the lemongrass mojito and the Pen Pal, which combines rye, vermouth, and Aperol to riff on a boulevardier. Other options include the Greener Pastures, which features a gin base plus aloe liqueur, lime, and basil, or the bubbly Red Zeppelin made with vodka, Chambord, peach, lemon, and sparkling wine.
There’s a lengthy selection of wines from across California and France including 14 options by the glass. Plus, a spirit list that highlights both American and international whiskeys and scotch including affordable pours such as Evan Williams Black Label and more aspirational ones such as Macallan 25 Year.
Above Fifth (1201 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael) is open Wednesday through Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m. and plans to add Saturday and Sunday brunch service down the line. Keep an eye on the hotel's Instagram for updates.