Considering the plenitude of tall buildings in town, rooftop bars with grand city views are something of a rarity in Atlanta. Slater Hospitality Group operates two of them—that is, if you count the assorted high-elevation hangouts of Ponce City Market as one. A counterpoint to that eastside beacon is Rooftop L.O.A. in West Midtown, which opened this summer and features an outdoor bar, full-service restaurant, and year-round, resort-style pool. Short for “leave of absence,” L.O.A. offers an unbroken panorama of the sprawling skyline from its perch atop the Interlock, a building that’s turned an already buzzing strip of Howell Mill Road into a veritable scene.
But even those who prefer porch rocking chairs to rooftop cabanas can appreciate a drink with a view. To that end, try the bar’s spin on a Paloma—a crowd pleaser that stays true to the original, according to Slater Hospitality beverage director Randy Hayden, while amping up the grapefruit and bitter notes. “People like bitter,” he says. “The world we’re living in now, everyone is loving Aperol Spritzes.”
The drink’s name is a nod to the brand of tequila it uses—Volcan, which grows its agave at the base of a volcano, resulting in a distinct minerality, Hayden says. But the ingredient you’ll least want to substitute is the Fever-Tree soda, which is widely available in grocery stores and offers a pure grapefruit flavor. If you can’t find the Tattersall, he recommends using Campari, Aperol, or better yet, Tempus Fugit Gran Classico liqueur.
In the world of mixology, color is a not-insignificant consideration. “We think of our beverage program as a canvas,” Hayden says. A range of hues not only helps servers distinguish drinks on the fly but lends a certain Instagram appeal. Hayden happens to be color blind, so Rooftop L.O.A. beverage manager Colten Murray gets credit for the dreamy orange-pink hue of the Volcano Sauce—perfect for reflecting the glow of the sunset.