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Second time’s the charm. When I first ventured up to Linger‘s brand new rooftop deck a few weeks ago, the day was cloudy and it was hardly rooftop weather. Only a few hardy souls were braving the chilly wind sweeping the seating area. Though my friend and I tried to stick it out, we soon saw the wisdom in moving to the restaurant’s downstairs bar area.

Inside, happy hour was in full swing, and there we made our way through half of the eclectic menu. An Asian-style steamed bun was filled with too-sweet shreds of bbq duck, but I enjoyed the crisp sweet potato waffle fries with chipotle ketchup, as well as the creamy saag paneer “fries” paired with rhubarb ketchup and a swipe of garlic spinach sauce. I also liked the crunchy, creamy, tangy, savory Indian street snack called bhel puri, though the popped rice was beginning to sog by the time it arrived to our table. At happy hour prices, all of these dishes were a bargain—no item cost more than five dollars.

Still, on a clear day—and aren’t they always clear, around here?—Linger’s new rooftop deck offers one of the best panoramic views of downtown Denver around, and I wasn’t ready to give up on enjoying it. Several days later, friends and I ventured up the stairs and across the wooden walkways again—and were rewarded with a brilliant, sunny view of the skyline and beyond as we drank and ate.

Here was the hot, lively, outdoor bar experience we’d been looking for, and we gravitated toward the corresponding drinks: margaritas, mojitos, and a refreshing green tea ginger cooler.

DSC01097 DSC01101 DSC00972Deconstructed jalapeno poppers—here, deep-fried cheese curds paired with seared shishito peppers and Valencia-habanero jam—brought whimsy to the table, and mussels steamed in Strongbow Cider tasted like an instant classic. Our favorite dish was the pile of sweet, glazed duck wings set off with blood orange hot sauce, crisp on the outside and tender and within, their crunch and flavor reminiscent of Korean fried chicken.

DSC01130Slowly, the sun set, and lights twinkled on one by one in the skyline. This was our view of the city by the time we left. After 5:30, a special rooftop menu is available, with selections from the regular dinner menu.

DSC01112If you’re looking for a great outdoor bar, Linger’s new rooftop deck is it. And I’m happy to report that the current deck represents only half of what’s to come—its second phase will be implemented next summer, and will include an expanded seating area right below the iconic Olinger sign, as well as a kitchen and a bar. Until then, the deck will be open year-round…heat lamps to come.

2030 W 30th Ave
Happy hour: Tuesday–Friday, 4–6:30 pm