Bringing a whole new (and literal) meaning to elevated bar food, Up on the Roof is perched atop the highest point in downtown Alpharetta, serving up bottled craft cocktails and views of the city’s greenspace and bustling city center.
It’s only been open for five months and it’s already one of the hardest reservations to snag in town. And now that spring is here and the weather is warming up, there’s nowhere southerners want to be more than on a rooftop with a beverage.
So if you’re looking to score a seat, you’re in luck because you’re reading The One Who Keeps the Book, a series that aims to answer the two most important questions about a restaurant: How do I get in and what do I order? The first answer is Resy, of course.
But every restaurant manages its tables differently and there are always tips, tricks, and shortcuts to be discovered. So here, we go straight to the source to get them for you. We spoke with Stephanie Tobben, the restaurant’s director of marketing and communications, to get the inside scoop.
How many seats are there at Up on the Roof?
At full capacity — which includes indoor, outdoor, and the bar area — there is seating for approximately 200 people.
When do reservations drop on Resy?
Reservations drop 60 days out.
And how quickly do these tend to get booked out?
Usually within two weeks, depending on the season.
Aside from the views, what differentiates Up from other restaurants and bars in downtown Alpharetta?
Our handcrafted bottled cocktails are as adorable as they are delicious. Also, our late-night hours; most places seem to close (relatively) early in Alpharetta. We’re open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights — and midnight all other days — for those who want to keep the fun going a little longer.
The patio is the place to be; how do I score a seat?
If you want to sit on the terrace overlooking the Town Green (that seems to be THE place to be), the best way to score a seat is to either come as soon as we open or come armed with some patience and plan to have a drink while you wait. Even with a reservation, we don’t guarantee specific tables or table locations, though we do our best to accommodate requests when possible.
Are any tables held for walk-ins?
We have a limited number of outdoor high-top tables right outside the bar that are seated on a first-come, first-served basis for walk-in parties of two or four. It’s always worth coming up and seeing what’s possible, even if Resy says we’re fully booked for the night.
What’s the average wait time for a walk-in on a busy night?
This varies greatly by the night and your seating preference. If you’re happy to enjoy the first available table, we can usually get people seated within an hour of arrival. If guests have a strong preference for a particular table location, waits can exceed two hours.
What are your busiest nights?
The busiest nights are Fridays and Saturdays, although Saturday and Sunday brunch — which starts at 11 a.m. — can also be very busy. But really, if the weather’s nice, any night can be busy.
What’s the largest group you can accommodate? Can you book it?
We can accommodate large groups (up to 100 seated and 150 for a mingling reception) for a private event. Group bookings can be made by calling the restaurant directly.
What’s the best seat in the house (and how do I get it?)
Best seat(s) in the house are the tables overlooking the Town Green, if it’s the views (and pictures for the ‘gram) you’re after; this bar-adjacent terrace has a rather lively vibe. But if you’re looking for a great year-round spot to enjoy a dining experience, the Equinox patio is the place to be. You get all the perks of alfresco dining, but are under a louvered roof that can be opened or closed based on the weather, with retractable wind guards and overhead heaters for when it’s chilly. And if you just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy cocktails and conversation with friends, then the outdoor fireplace areas are perfect.
What’s the best thing to drink or eat?
The most popular food and drink items at dinner are honey-soy fried chicken lettuce wraps and It’s Strawberry Thyme (Ford’s gin, Cointreau, strawberries, fresh thyme, and a hint of lemon sour), respectively. At brunch, the hangover burger and Mega Mimosas. However, the drunken mussels and Point of View cocktail are the most underrated.
Set the scene for Saturday night at 7 p.m.
If the weather’s nice, the rooftop is hopping — everything from couples enjoying a date night to friends meeting up for drinks to a group celebrating a milestone birthday. Everyone is having a good time, enjoying their favorite shareable plates, sipping on cocktails, and the atmosphere is very lively. Alpharetta people-watching at its prime!
What about a sunny Friday afternoon around happy hour?
Co-workers, friends, and couples are ready to get the weekend started with a drink in hand — maybe one of our signature bottled cocktails in a hue to match the sunset — and noshing on a charcuterie block.
OK, then, so what’s the ideal time to visit?
Up on the Roof is open for lunch on Fridays — which is one of Alpharetta’s best-kept secrets. Stop by to enjoy the great views, our full menu, and some day drinking (don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss what you’re up to!) before the crowds arrive.
When are you least and most busy?
We’re least busy for Friday lunch and Monday dinner. We’re most busy on Friday and Saturday nights as well as weekend brunch.
Is there any other way to snag a table?
Parties of nine or more need to call the restaurant directly for reservation availability. Everyone else certainly can call the restaurant, but the availability they see on Resy is the same availability we have when you call.
Any other tips or tricks?
Come with people who like to share food! Sampling a variety of dishes from each of the menu categories is the best way to fully enjoy the experience.