A small and stylish rooftop bar serving 20 wines by the glass, caipirinhas, and elegant French snacks just opened on top of Kimpton’s new Banneker hotel on the edge of Scott Circle. Lady Bird, named after First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson, is the lighthearted counterpart to the property’s lobby-level French bistro, Le Sel, which opened this summer.
The indoor-outdoor setup on top of the 10-story building officially opened Friday, October 8. Guests have to take two elevators to access the lounge located on a newly built out floor that fits around 80 people inside and 50 across its patio. To start, Lady Bird opens Wednesday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight and closes at 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Le Sel chef Laurent Hollaender, a native of Strasbourg, France, created a one-page menu (full version below) of rooftop bites that includes heirloom tomato tartine, goat cheese and cornmeal beignets, and a cheese and charcuterie plate built with chicken truffle pate, soppressata, and lingonberry jam. The short menu expands beyond the French theme with items like baba ghanoush, grilled lamb sausage on a naan bun, and boneless chicken thigh bites with a crushed olive chimichurri.
A tiny bar framed in glossy turquoise tiles sends out a sizable list of 12 cocktails and 20 wines (available by the glass and bottle) that showcase vineyards in Virginia, California, France, and Italy.
Cocktails ($14-$16) swing from modern American classics like a Harvey Wallbanger (vodka, orange juice, St. Germain, and rosemary) to a version of Brazil’s beloved caipirinha made with Novo Fogo cachaça, simple syrup, lime wedges, and kiwi wheels. A list of highballs nod to various countries and their respective spirits, like the “Japan” (Suntory), “Italy” (Don Ciccio fernet), and “France” (cognac).
The 1,200-square-foot rooftop bar resembles a chic SoCal hangout, outfitted with fire pits, palms, movable glass walls, woven chairs, and soft, sky blue seating under nest-shaped metallic light fixtures.
There are plenty of odes to D.C.’s official bird, the wood thrush. Its speckled, feathery look shows up on hand-painted wallpaper, fabrics, and menus. A high-tech irrigation system framing the outdoor patio also speaks to the environmentalist namesake.