The ever-expanding flock of rooftop bars opening across the Bay Area will finally land in the North Bay this summer. As has been the trend, a new hotel opening in downtown San Rafael will open with a bar perched atop its five stories. Above Fifth will open in mid-June at the AC San Rafael, located at 1201 Fifth Avenue in San Rafael. According to press materials, the hotel, which falls under the Marriott umbrella, also includes the brand’s signature restaurant AC Kitchen and an outpost of AC Lounge.
Above Fifth will have a “seasonal cocktail program and menu of small bites” with some dishes made using local products like Cowgirl Creamery cheese. The space will have wide views of the surrounding area, including of Mt. Tam, and as is common practice considering the Bay Area’s weather, there will be fire pits to cozy up around. It’s intended to be a causal space suited for happy hours and end-of-the-night drinks, but the lounge will also serve weekend brunch. Larger parties will be able to buy out the space for events, as well.
During the past two years, a handful of new San Francisco and East Bay hotels have incorporated rooftop bars into their plans. The cohort includes the LINE hotel’s Rise Over Run in San Francisco, Study Hall atop the Residence Inn in Berkeley, and High 5ive at the Kissel Uptown Oakland. San Francisco-based restaurateur John Parks also debuted two rooftop bar/restaurants in partnership with hotels in the city: the tropical Nikkei restaurant and bar Kaiyo Rooftop in early 2022 and, in early 2023, the pan-Latin bar and lounge Cavana.