Perched on the 14th floor of the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Gaslamp/Convention Center is San Diego’s popular rooftop bar The Nolen. The bar is named after San Diego’s famed city planner John Nolen, who is responsible for mapping out much of the city’s early landscape. While rooftop bars are common in the city, The Nolen offers spectacular views of the city, including the Coronado Bridge and San Diego skyline.
“We are a spirit-forward bar that specializes in handcrafted drinks,” explained Lauren Ridout, general manager of The Nolen. “We use fresh ingredients, all of our syrups are made in-house, and all of our juices are freshly squeezed. Our bartenders work really hard to constantly come up with new ideas and different flavors for all palates.”
Though the bar’s design is sophisticated and sleek, the atmosphere itself is relaxed and great for social occasions. “It is pretty fancy up here with the architecture, furniture, and the lighting, but we do keep it casual,” Ridout commented. “We like to think of ourselves as a neighborhood bar, and keep the prices low because we want our locals to come back. We believe if we keep the prices low, people will come back.
Specifically, for Cigars & Leisure readers, Ridout recommends two of The Nolen’s original cocktails. One is the Smokey & the Bourbon, consisting of bourbon, mezcal, allspice dram, Demerara syrup, and aromatic bitters. The second is the Leatherhead, a mix of rye, Islay Scotch whisky, Swedish punsch, lime, and orgeat. Enjoy the view along with some of the best libations in the city at this posh rooftop bar.
453 Sixth Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
Photos by MediumRaw Arts and Paul Body
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