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High society: Turf Club is newest, tallest rooftop spot

Fun in the sun: Three women enjoy the sunshine at the Turf Club, 23 floors above Williamsburg.
Brooklyn Paper
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Want to get really high?

Brooklyn’s most elevated bar has leveled up! The roof of the 22nd floor Westlight bar and restaurant, perched high atop the William Vale hotel, has been covered with deck chairs, artificial grass, and party games to become the Turf Club, a more relaxed alternative to the high-falutin’ dining experience downstairs, according to the Vale’s food director.

“Up here it’s much more casual,” said Misha Mariani. “You couldn’t ask for a better place to relax.”

Previously used only for special events, the upper deck of the hotel is now open to the public on weekends: Friday nights, and Saturdays and Sundays starting at 2 pm.

On a recent sunny Saturday, a mix of tourists and locals at the Turf Club tossed beanbags at a cornhole game, posed for pictures against the skyline, and sipped bright pink highballs, complete with pink flamingo stirring sticks. It felt like a backyard party with the world’s greatest view, with the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn bridges all in a row. Peeking over the four-foot-high glass walls that enclose the space, you could see a pack of diners on the Westlight terrace 20 feet below, and visitors at the Wythe hotel’s Ides bar, a block away and 17 floors down.

The Turf Club, which opened on Memorial Day weekend, can hold up to 300 people, said Mariani, though numbers so far have been much less.

“I think word has started to get out,” he said.

One factor limiting entry is the $20 admission charge to the new rooftop. That price includes one ticket — the rooftop’s economy runs on $6 tickets: a beer is one ticket, as is a corn dog, ice cream, or an enormous soft pretzel; two tickets will get you wine or a (very good) cocktail; the most expensive item is three tickets for the lobster roll — and that is almost the complete menu. So even factoring in what is essentially a $14 cover, you are likely to spend no more here than you might at any other rooftop in town, which tend towards $17 cocktails and $18 burgers.

Turf Club [111 N. 12th St. at Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, (718) 307–7100, www.westlightnyc.com/events]. Opens Fridays at 4 pm; Sat–Sun at 2 pm. $20.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at broundy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Updated 5:43 pm, July 9, 2018
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