In Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, nightlife still has velvet ropes, clipboard girls and $5,900 bottle service, and B. On Top Rooftop Bar, part of Bagatelle Group, at Gansevoort Hotel, has made itself known as of September 2019 among rooftop bars in NYC.
Bagatelle’s newest rooftop concept, B. On Top Rooftop, is located on the rooftop of Gansevoort Hotel, which has been a nightlife magnet for the past 15 years. The rooftop offers a food menu, but it’s not a restaurant as much as it’s a bar/lounge attracting young party types (the bar name could mean you’ll “be on top” of the 14th floor rooftop of the hotel, but sure, it’s open to interpretation).
The rooftop is open year-round, 365 days a year, and it’s incredibly spacious. In fact, there are 5 different areas. Once you exit the elevator on the 14th floor, you’ll enter the main bar area that has soft benches and tables, an adjacent room with a DJ, dance floor and tucked-away sofas, a “quiet” covered lounge area with tables, an outdoor balcony that spans the entire front length of the hotel (facing the Hudson River), and the back, outdoor terrace that can hold at least 50 people.
If you come during the day in the warmer months, and you book a room, the rooftop also has the outdoor pool area that’s only open to hotel guests. It’s one way it stands out among competitive rooftop bars in NYC.
A note to travelers to NYC: B. On Top is one of those places you’ll have to wait, so don’t have high expectations of just going up freely, especially on a Saturday night. Every club in Meatpacking District does this, and you wait longer depending on how you’re dressed/look. I arrived at 7:30 pm for a dinner with 6 friends, and the “clipboard girl” (although having no actual clipboard) told us to wait at the entrance for about a minute before we could go through to the elevator (there was no line, and there were maybe 10 people inside the bar since it was early, so there was no actual reason to wait, it’s just how these places in Meatpacking District operate).
Once you’re inside, it’s smooth sailing, and it’s worth the views. In fact, B. On Top Rooftop has 365-degree views (including Empire State Building), and they’re impressive.
B. On Top offers French and Mediterranean cuisine. The portions are quite small for the price (Grande Mezze Plate with crispy shrimp, mushroom toast, spinach bites and truffle corn for $49), but again, the bar menu is the main attraction, and the food is the accompaniment here.
The cocktails were great and strong. They are also expensive. I ordered a glass of Smoke Tree Pinot Noir ($21 glass/$90 bottle), which I’ve had in the past. It’s not the best pinot noir out of California (and the retail for a bottle is $20), but it is fine.
You can order bottle service here. It’s also on the expensive side, but hello, it’s NYC. It’s Meatpacking District. It’s nightlife.
To give you an idea of prices at B. On Top, a bottle of Ketel One is $400; and a bottle of Grey Goose is $400. A bottle of Patron Silver is $425.
In comparison, at 40/40 Club in Midtown, a bottle of Ketel One is $310; a bottle of Grey Goose is $310. A bottle of Patron Silver is $360.
At M1-5 in Tribeca, a bottle of Ketel One is $275; a bottle of Grey Goose is $300. A bottle of Patron Silver is $350.
B. On Top has higher prices, but it also has insane views, so you’re paying premium for the setting.
Also, I have no idea who was DJing, but he was amazing (we stayed until about midnight). As many people know, I was a NYC DJ for 8 years, until 2013, and I appreciated his tracks. I’m not a huge dancer, but he got me on the dance floor.
Bagatelle Group has 10 global locations known for nightlife (like Sao Paulo, Dubai and Miami). While Bagatelle is positioned as a restaurant, it really, truly sways party city with live DJs, a young clientele and high energy. People come for the drinks and late nights over the menu. Scroll through the website, and you’ll find photos of young female models in dangly earrings smoking cigarettes, so it’s really not a shocker. Bagatelle does parties well, and it’s cultivated a following.
Have you been to B. On Top Rooftop? Let us know your thoughts below if you think it’s one of the best rooftop bars in NYC.
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