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At The Bar: Refinery Rooftop

Rooftop season is in full swing, New Yorkers. Nestled in the Garment District atop a once factory turned chic hotel is Refinery Rooftop. With spanning skyline views including an incredible up close and personal look at the Empire State Building, this quintessential NYC rooftop bar draws the afterwork crowd and international travelers alike.

When Refinery invited us Bitches in for a round of cocktails, Cori Sue, Shruti, and I jumped at the chance to take in the breathtaking view and sip on their summer menu.

The Movers and the Shakers

Once manufacturing hats and now serving up seasonal cocktails, this Manhattan building was always bustling. Its in this spirit that mixologist Alex Ott continues to evolve through his curation of a list of unexpected concoctions using biochemistry and herbology.


The Vibe

Unlike most New York City rooftops, Refinery is open year round without losing its signature view. The retractable glass rooftop is a much- appreciated touch from the bar’s thoughtful owners. The chic, industrial decor ties back to the building’s roots and creates a cozy environment amidst the surrounding skyscrapers.

This West 38th Street locale definitely pulls in the Midtown after work crew. Young professionals nestled shoulder to shoulder as we scooched around the space gearing up for the perfect shot.

Refinery Rooftop definitely has a grip on their target market tapping into our millennial mindset with its “I Give A Sip charity slushy of the month. This month’s frosé benefitted the Endometriosis Foundation of America– but more on that later. Fresh artisanal cocktails, an extensive beer and wine list, and innovative bar snacks rounded out the menu.


Is this seat taken?

Refinery Rooftop makes the perfect post-office happy hour with your coworkers on the edge of midtown. Or maybe you’d like to meet up with some friends to relieve some office drama induced stress. The weekday crowd here gets pretty loud, however, so be sure when choosing the latter option that your VP isn’t sitting behind you when you repeat how much you dislike Sally from the finance department over and over to your friends.

Alternatively but equally as enjoyable, gather your friends and family for spectacular views day or night when they’re in town for the weekend. The Empire State Building is so close you’ll feel like you can reach out and touch it!

The Libations

As mentioned, Refinery Rooftop has a hip slushy of the month program, with the proceeds being donated to a charity of choice. I’d already had Liquiteria twice that day, so I insisted Shruti go for the slushie. This wasn’t your typical frosé: Refinery’s version included lemon and strawberry blended with the popular summer water. Both tangy and refreshing, this slushie made a delicious summertime treat. If the taste wasn’t enough to lure us in, the slushies are also served in absolutely adorable souvenir tumblers. Embellished on the side with an outline of the Empire State Building, the cup serves dual purpose with an Instagrammable moment just waiting to happen after popping in the straw.

After tasting a sip of Shruti’s sweet summer slushie, I was onto my cocktail. Following the waitress’ recommendation , I opted for the La Mentira margarita. For a non-Mexican joint, I was pretty shocked by the number of scrumptious sounding margaritas on Refinery Rooftop’s cocktail menu. My drink definitely wasn’t as cute served in a plain glass, but was equally as flavorful. La Mentira has a thirst quenching combination of fresh lime juice, orange juice, grapefruit soda, and tequila.
Clearly, I was the oddball of the group because Cori Sue also went with a rosé-based libation.


The Rosé All Day (clever) was a great way to enjoy New York’s favorite summer wine in a not-so-sweet way. Mixing the pink drink with St. Germain and soda then finishing it off with lemon juice and basil leaves seemed a bit foreign, but boy did the bartenders know what they were doing. Who isn’t looking for more ways to drink rosé in the summer? This version is hands down Bitch approved.

Thirsty Thursday can’t be all about the cocktails or we’d be stuck riding the subway in the wrong direction home. Us ladies rounded out our evening with some yummy apps, disco tots and hummus to be exact.


We loved our cozy corner at this buzzing bar. With a picturesque glimpse of the Empire State Building, Refinery Rooftop is a must for out-of-towners and locals alike. Handcrafted seasonal cocktails on par with the impeccable view make this a rooftop worth a visit.

Refinery Rooftop
63 W. 38th St.
New York, NY 10018


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