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Big Sky Is the Breezy, Summer-Ready Bar Adams Morgan Needs

The three-story ode to America’s great outdoors serves Red Bull-fueled frose, wagyu smash burgers, and tacos

Big Sky’s frozen lineup includes a watermelon frose and pina colada.
Kimberly Kong for Big Sky
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

A towering Adams Morgan building that most recently housed outdated pizza chain Mellow Mushroom gets a new life this summer as Big Sky Rooftop Bar and Restaurant.

The three-story replacement, which revives and refreshes one of the nicest rooftops above the late-night strip, comes from Curt Large of Pioneer Ventures (Roofers Union, Bedrock Billiards, Continental, Carpool, and Rocket Bar). Longtime D.C. chef Sam Molavi, who worked with Large at Cleveland Park’s acclaimed American restaurant Ripple, sends out comfort foods like a smashed double-patty wagyu burger, birria tacos, and baked ricotta.

A shredded kale salad with homemade Caesar dressing can come topped with fried chicken or steak.
Kimberly Kong for Big Sky

Big Sky originally debuted last August, just weeks after Mellow Mushroom closed after 10 years, but the team took time to get the finalized menus and outdoorsy look right (2436 18th Street NW).

Guests can perk up with Red Bull watermelon froses and double espresso martinis, while a slushy “Dole-Whip” colada spiked with coconut rum puts an adult spin on the Magic Kingdom treat. Big Sky also offers a playful (and rare) a la carte brunch item: $50 for a straight stream of mimosas (no need to order food).

The newly finished product evokes the “wide open spaces of the American West,” per a release, with room for 230 patrons at a time. The first two floors bring the great outdoors in, starting with aspen tree metal sculptures mounted over murals of mountains and lakes. Second-level decor calls to mind a camping trip under a starry night sky in the Rocky Mountains.

The spacious rooftop deck recalls the wide open spaces of the Great Plains.
Kimberly Kong for Big Sky

Molavi, who recently cooked at St. Vincent, St. Anselm, and Compass Rose, also sends out seven types of tacos (pulled chicken or beef, carnitas, chicken or steak birria, and shrimp). A $25 “Taco Party” option lets diners try one of each. Vegetarian options include charred broccoli, hummus and pita, chips and guac, and a gooey grilled cheese on brioche filled with gruyere, American, and pimento ranch.

Sous chef Diana Moore showcasing Big Sky’s grilled cheese that stands apart with a coating of Duke’s Mayo.
Kimberly Kong for Big Sky

Happy hour runs weekdays until 7 p.m. with $5-$10 apps like beer cheese, tots, and jerk and miso glazed wings and $5 beers, wines, and rail drinks.

Trivia on Wednesdays is hosted by Geeks Who Drink. Brunch includes shrimp and grits, omelettes, and French toast, and one brunch cocktail, with a $20 add-on for bottomless regular or hibiscus mimosas.

Kay Christy of Concept Girl and muralist Patrick Owens helped put together the new look.
Kimberly Kong for Big Sky
Tacos at Big Sky.
Kimberly Kong for Big Sky
A spicy margarita (Altos Reposado, jalapeno-infused lime juice, arbol chili) finished with a Tajin salt rim.
Kimberly Kong for Big Sky

Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 5 p.m. to midnight; Friday 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday noon to 2 a.m.; and Sunday from noon to 11 p.m.

Existing rooftop drinking destinations in the neighborhood include Imperial, Jack Rose, and Perry’s.