The rooftop oasis that once held Lady of the Mountain, a bar that paid tribute to upscale hostel Kex’s Icelandic roots, has a new occupant.
Renowned bartenders Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Benjamin “Banjo” Amberg opened the Sunset Room at 100 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The two launched the hotel lobby’s watering hole, Pacific Standard, in June where the Nordic-influenced restaurant Dottir used to be.
The Sunset Room will have a different menu and feel from its first-floor sibling. Morgenthaler and Amberg describe the space as more whimsical—and with a view of the riot of color that is the neighboring Fair-Haired Dumbbell, quirkiness is a given. The drinks will also be more daring and experimental on the roof.
“At Pacific Standard, the cocktails are rooted in the classics, specifically inspired by the world’s great hotel bars throughout history,” Morgenthaler stated in a press release. “Upstairs at the Sunset Room, we’re more free to explore fun concoctions and throw a big outdoor party every night.”
Following the initial COVID shutdown in 2020, Kex actually first launched Lady of the Mountain before reopening Dottir. When the rooftop patio welcomed diners in August of that year, it was like a pandemic gift: The weather was warm—making it the perfect perch to soak up the sun with a low-ABV cocktail—and people were still primarily seeking out open-air dining since vaccines were far into the future.
Dottir resumed service a week later, installing tables in its courtyard and street seats on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to provide customers with even more al fresco options.
Just two months later, Kex closed both restaurants ahead of the first forecasted soaker of the fall. The owners said it just wasn’t feasible to keep those spaces going through the colder months, and would-be customers remained jittery about eating inside.
Finally, in June 2021, Kex brought back all of its amenities, including the ability to book an overnight stay. However, Lady of the Mountain never reopened after closing for the season when summer wrapped. Dottir called it quits when the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, 2021.
The new businesses are welcome news for Kex guests and neighborhood bargoers. The Sunset Room is truly a bar—it does not take reservations, seating is open and everything needs to be ordered from your tender behind the counter. The space is open 4-10 pm Friday through Sunday.