When the P6 rooftop bar opens this Friday, March 1, at the Line hotel in Austin, guests and visitors will experience sunset views over the winding Town Lake, plus, from a safe distance, the world’s largest urban bat colony flitting around the Congress Avenue Bridge each evening.
Although the Line Austin opened last summer, the pièce de résistance, the crowning rooftop bar, will be unveiled this week on what was once the 1960s original building’s parking area—P6 was the elevator call button for the spot. “We wanted to reclaim the best view in the house from the parking garage,” says Andrew Zobler, the CEO of the Sydell Group, which owns the hotel as well as the Line DC and the Line LA.
The whole hotel project was a collaboration between Austin architect Michael Hsu and interior designer Sean Knibb, and the new rooftop bar flows casually between indoor and outdoor areas, a nod to Knibb’s background in garden and landscape work. Local sandstone brightened with white grout forms the bar top and backsplash. “I used a sandstone that is typically in garden walls to make everything feel raw and outdoorsy,” Knibb says. “The patio is dotted with potted boxwood, wax-leaf privet, and cypress plants that give the feeling of a lush garden looking over the water.” Pink fabric banners hang above the vintage chairs and loveseats Knibb gathered from the famed Round Top Antiques Fair.
Settle in with a glass of rosé in hand, or one of the cocktails from beverage director Brian Floyd. “Everything on the menu is picked with the experience of sitting in the breeze in mind,” says Floyd, whose resume includes overseeing the drinks at Luck Reunion, Willie Nelson’s springtime music festival. “We’ll have plenty of bubbles, rosé, and cocktails with a lower ABV so you can enjoy more of them and stay awhile.” This is agave country, and standout cocktails include the Wicked Warden made with mescal and Aperol, and the tequila-and-cucumber refresher called Freetail, a reference to the local colony of Mexican Freetail bats. “Right before the sun goes down, you see them,” Floyd says. “People love them because all they do is fly around, eat mosquitos, and then go back to sleep under the bridge.”
The Line is within walking distance of the Red River music district and Austin’s Eastside neighborhood. Since opening last year, the hotel’s buzz has centered on its elegant design and notable eateries, including Top Chef winner Kristen Kish’s debut restaurant, the lakeside Arlo Grey downstairs.
With the opening of P6, appetizer options expand for hotel guests and visitors—small plates include lamb tartare, octopus with saffron, tuna crudo, and a roasted beet dish that Floyd calls “gorgeous—and maybe the tastiest thing on the menu when paired with a cold gin martini.”