There's a new rooftop hotel bar in town. Commandeering a 360-degree view of the city, the mountains, and the water, Mountaineering Club crowns the new Graduate Hotel in the University District. It opened on the first of March with flannel and leather, native plants and vintage snowshoes—it's peak Pacific Northwest with camp-inspired fare inside a lodgelike interior 16 floors up.
Somehow even more outdoorsy elements will accumulate in the coming months: vines will frame the windows; the menu will be printed on a trail map; the food offerings, too, will expand. But for now, you can tuck into dishes such as avocado toast with tinned salmon and a hot dog made with Wagyu beef and dungeness crab. Cocktails, by the grace of former Dino's Tomato Pie barman Jabriel Donohue, skew herbaceous and flavorful.
The food-and-beverage duo behind Mountaineering Club, Marc Rose and Med Abrous, were strongly influenced by, well, Seattle. "We're history nerds," Rose says, and setting the scene is their partnership's hallmark.
The pair's three LA establishments, The Spare Room, Winsome, and Genghis Cohen, are deeply conceptual. Genghis Cohen, as the name suggests, celebrates and, in so doing, codifies the American Chinese food of their Brooklyn-based childhoods. "There's a red leather booth Chinese restaurant in every city in America," Rose says. And toward the end of the year, there will be one more: a Genghis Cohen Seattle, handily located in the basement of the Graduate Hotel. There's no room service at the hotel, but you'll be able to have a cocktail at the club and schlep some Chinese takeout back to your room. When warmer days arrive, Mountaineering Club's outdoor seating promises to be a destination for sun-seekers.
Needless to say, there's a whole lot happening inside this one building.
The well-shod lobby of Graduate Seattle features closely spaced landscapes in the American West style, a wall of retro amps, and that sure sign of edification reduced to aesthetic: books shelved spine in. Poindexter Coffee, the lobby cafe with a food program courtesy of Rose and Abrous' team, preserves the bookish vibe with vases of pencils and plaid wallpaper.
But despite the revived hotel's proximity to the University of Washington (and that scholastic-themed cafe), Rose sees undergrads as a smaller portion of the local crowd. He hopes Mountaineering Club will serve as a watering hole for the residents of Fremont, Wallingford, Ravenna, even Bellevue, not to mention the grad students, staff, and faculty of the university.
All of the above, Rose proclaims, have been starved for a good cocktail in their own environs.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on March 14 at 2:22pm to reflect that Poindexter’s menu is different from the Mountaineering Club, as was previously stated.