25 Lusk Debuts Rooftop 25, A New Rooftop Cocktail and Snack Bar in SoMa
by Jay Barmann
It's been almost eight years since 25 Lusk debuted with its sleek, loft-like design by Cass Calder Smith on an otherwise non-descript SoMa alley. Since then, the neighborhood has grown up around them and gotten only more crowded (and wealthy), and the restaurant is entering a new chapter this week as they debut a recent remodel to their downstairs lounge and a new rooftop terrace, Rooftop 25. The al fresco bar and restaurant now joins a small and sought-after club in a city where rooftop dining can get sometimes be a dicey proposition -- though when the sun is out and the wind dies down, spots like this are where everyone in the city wants to be.
Charmaine's just opened on mid-Market this winter (with the smart addition of multiple fire pits), the yet-to-open Yotel across the street will boast a roof terrace as well, and the new Hotel Via has a roof terrace that for now is reserved only for guests (though that may change). The only other spot to sit above the city and drink outdoors has, for years, been El Techo de Lolinda (formerly Medjool), and like El Techo, Rooftop 25 boasts many heat lamps, a retractable shade structure, and glass wind screens around the perimeter.
There's a separate menu for Rooftop 25 with a somewhat lower price point than the restaurant downstairs, featuring raw bar items, a burger, salads, three rotating pizzas, and an above average Dungeness crab roll. The terrace has its own kitchen, and a fully stocked bar with three frozen drink machines, and signature cocktails like a Peach Smash and fruit-filled house gin and tonic.
And despite this being the roof of a two-story warehouse building, the views are pretty sweeping given its unique vantage point in SoMa. Tech workers, condo dwellers, and Giants fans alike should all be packing in here any minute -- and unlike the frustrating elevator situation at El Techo, this place has its own staircase door at the street, and it's not that far of a climb.
Rooftop 25, at 25 Lusk Street, is now open for business Sunday to Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.