Rooftops provide a nice-weather escape before temperatures turn

Yokozuna’s rooftop bar is open nights and weekends in the new Chisholm Creek shopping center. (Garett Fisbeck)

Yokozuna’s rooftop bar is open nights and weekends in the new Chisholm Creek shopping center. (Garett Fisbeck)

It seems like Oklahoma City only gets about 15 minutes of nice spring weather a year. That’s why it’s imperative to use every possible second of tolerable weather to its fullest. For that, we need rooftops.

Yokozuna and Republic Gastropub

In the new Chisholm Creek development, both Yokozuna, 13230 Pawnee Drive, Suite 100, and Republic Gastropub, Suite 115, have inviting outdoor spaces where diners and drinkers can enjoy the view.

Yokozuna general manager Jamie Swain said she thinks her rooftop bar is a prime spot even when the thermometer inches into summer temperatures.

“The first couple of nights we opened the patio, it was in the 90s,” she said. “The nice thing about being away from downtown is we get such a great breeze.”

The sushi restaurant, part of the McNellie’s Group, has room for about 50 guests on the roof with a standalone bar and full menu service. And when the sun does start to beat down, a shade can be pulled down to shield diners.

Since the restaurant doesn’t have a very large waiting area, Swain said she hopes people will linger at the rooftop rail while their table is being prepared.

There’s also entertainment, thanks to nearby Topgolf, she said.

“You can hear all the Topgolf ultimate fails from here,” Swain said.

Yokozuna accepts rooftop reservations through its website yokozunasushi.com and via OpenTable.com. The rooftop is open 3-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Midtown

The Midtown District offers an embarrassment of rooftop riches.

Bossa Nova, 440 NW 11th St., has one of the metro’s longest-running rooftop patios.

Just across the street and a few stories up is O Bar, 1200 N. Walker Ave. High atop the Ambassador Hotel, the upscale bar opens onto a terrace with picturesque views of the city.

For drinks in a more laid-back atmosphere, nearby Fassler Hall, 421 NW 10th St., has the communal tables of a German beer hall and top-notch brews from around the world.

A relaxed, sociable experience can be had at Packard’s New American Kitchen, 201 NW 10th St. Its rooftop comfortably accommodates up to 220 guests.

“There’s a lot of space,” said events coordinator and rooftop manager Sarah Rankins. “It’s not uncommon to have a group of 30 having a party in one area while another small group is having cocktails in the corner.”

The menu is limited to appetizers, salads and a few select entrees, but she said that’s done to ensure the best quality food for the environment.

“People can come dressed in any form downstairs and are totally welcome,” Rankins said. “But the rooftop has a more relaxed atmosphere. You can order from the bar and grab a couch to sit on.”

It’s open 4-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and 4 p.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays. And with the weather improving, she said, the restaurant also opens the rooftop for brunch at 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

“It’s a great view of downtown,” Rankins said. “You can see the Devon Tower, and when there are baseball games, you can watch the fireworks from here.”

OKCMOA

Though most people think of the views inside Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA), 415 Couch Drive, the rooftop offers guests a chance to see spectacular Oklahoma sunsets as they descend upon downtown.

Museum marketing and communications director Becky Weintz said the Roof Terrace opens for the season April 27 to coincide with Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts.

Access to the Roof Terrace, which is open seasonally, is part of Art After 5 — a year-round event held 5-9 p.m. Thursdays. Admission is $5, allowing guests to look through museum galleries and special exhibitions in addition to enjoying the roof.

“The Roof Terrace features a full bar and light bites,” Weintz said.

Guests can check the museum’s website at okcmoa.com for a full food and drink list beginning in early April. The events also feature live music every week.

Weintz said the museum’s prime location gives the roof a metropolitan feel.

“Being surrounded by the downtown buildings, including our iconic Devon Tower, offers unparalleled views,” she said. “It really is a completely unique OKC experience.”

Being on the roof does require extra safety precautions, though. Weintz said on days when the outside temperature is over 100 degrees, the museum delays opening the Roof Terrace.

The same goes for excessive wind (30 miles per hour or more), Oklahoma County tornado or thunderstorm warnings and lightning in the area.

Guyutes and 51st St. Speakeasy

Unique experiences can also be found at a pair of bars that are beloved for people watching and great soundtracks.

Guyutes, 730 NW 23rd St., and 51st St. Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St., have covered second-floor patios and extensive beer and liquor selections.

Guyutes’ patio stays open year-round and serves its food menu into the morning hours.

The Speakeasy deck, like the rest of the restaurant, was recently remodeled by the new owners and should open again soon.

Print headline: Relaxation, elevated; Enjoy spring with a view from Oklahoma City’s rooftop patios.

Greg is the Gazette's full-time food writer and reviewer. He goes to restaurants a lot. He orders three entrees and gets funny looks and then takes out his camera and people are like, "Ugh. This guy." Greg is writing this right now and it feels weird to keep referring to myself in the third person. On Twitter and Instagram: @Elwelleats

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