Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler — known for his tenure at celebrated downtown bars Clyde Common and Pepe Le Moko — opens another bar within the Kex hotel today. The Sunset Room, taking over the rooftop at Kex, will specialize in drinks like boozy slushies and chilled wines, a separate cocktail menu from Morgenthaler’s Pacific Standard in the hotel’s lobby.
According to Morgenthaler, the Sunset Room is meant to be more whimsical and irreverent than Pacific Standard, which opened in June. That bar, downstairs, serves things like gimlets and espresso martinis in a sophisticated space, with accompanying hotel bar standards like oysters on the half-shell and prawn cocktail.
Alternatively, the Sunset Room is intended to be more playful and relaxed, with people ordering wine and bottled beer at the bar. The cocktail menu includes things like salted watermelon margaritas out of a slushie machine, frozen Painkillers, and a Hotel Nacional, a daiquiri first made at the hotel of the same name in Cuba. In general, the drinks at the Sunset Room are meant to be summery and fun — for instance, the bar will sell a French 75 with white peach puree, almost bellini-esque. “If our concept for the lobby bar was this classic style of lobby bar, staying true to the idea of a lobby bar,” he says, “the roof gives us so much more of an opportunity to do the sort of drinks I was known for at Pepe, the things you can’t really do everywhere. It wouldn’t make sense to have a slushie machine at a place like Clyde.”
The bar’s food will come from the Pacific Standard kitchen downstairs, sharing a food menu. Although the bars are separate entities, they will share a computer system, which means visitors at the bar upstairs can order things downstairs on the same tab, and vice versa.
Morgenthaler is particularly excited about the actual space, a rooftop bar that’s less about the view and more about the juxtaposition of the outdoor breeziness with the intimacy of the patio. “We’re calling it the Sunset Room because it’s not a room and you can’t see the sunset from there,” he says. “Much like our courtyard downstairs, it’s an opportunity to be outside without having to interact with the rest of the world. It’s secluded.”
The Sunset Room opens Friday, July 29th on the fourth floor of the Kex hotel, 100 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.