Pasadena’s history of leisure dates back to the 19th century, and to this day, it’s one of L.A.’s most laid-back spots to while away an afternoon with a cool drink in hand. Of course, for being one of the northeast L.A.-area’s more affluent neighborhoods, it’s not lacking in cocktail bars—but rooftop cocktail bars in Pasadena? Now that’s a different story. Thankfully, local chain Granville just launched its fifth location, and wouldn’t you know it, Pasadena’s got a sunny new spot to grab a drink.
Sure, there’s the indoor ground-floor bar, and diners can settle in on a stool right outside on the patio as bartenders pass drinks through the open windows. There’s also the massive dining room—split into two separate areas, both featuring dark wood and tufted leather—but the real destination is on floor three, the 50-seat rooftop oasis, remarkably a rarity in the neighborhood.
The restaurant’s only been open since mid-April, but Pasadenans fast figured out the roof is the place to be—so much so that the space fills up daily only 15 to 30 minutes after opening its doors. Throngs of diners and imbibers swarm the spot, and there’s a line from the roped-off elevator and out the front door nearly every day. Pasadena’s coolest new club isn’t a club at all, it’s a bar serving taco trios, gin-focused drinks and bowls of lemon couscous. Which, to be fair, feels much more Pasadena’s scene.
Granville’s fifth outpost joins the WeHo, Studio City, Glendale and Burbank locations in their menus of modern-American fare such as platters of fried-onion–topped tacos, bags of sweet potato fries and platters of flatbreads, but the Pasadena rooftop sports its own menu of the snackiest items on these lists. The upstairs menu consists entirely of “shareable bites,” dishes like cast-iron mac and cheese; house-made hummus; smoked salmon dip with rye bread; tacos; flatbreads; and lettuce cups.
The drinks list is significantly longer, with a handful of classic gin cocktails—negronis, aviations and the like—plus roughly two dozen gins on offer, some lavender-infused, some small-batch, some from the larger booze houses, some imported from Japan, and all of which you can order neat, on the rocks, up or mixed. There are mescal- and rum-based cocktails, too, plus about a dozen craft beers and about as many types of white wine by the glass and bottle.
It seems a perfect fit for breezy Pasadena, a city shockingly short of rooftop bars while the rest of Los Angeles feels full of them. Granville believes it’s the only rooftop bar in the area, and, with the exception of the nearby Hotel Constance—which plans to open its rooftop pool bar to the public in a few weeks—the Granville team could be correct. But even if it weren’t, it still feels like a plant-dotted hideaway—and if you want to escape to this hideaway for yourself, you’ll have to wait: There are no reservations for the third-floor space, so get there early if you can.
Here’s a glimpse of what to expect atop the new Granville Pasadena:
Granville Pasadena is now open at 270 S Lake Ave, with hours of 11am to 10pm Monday to Thursday, 11am to midnight on Friday, 9am to midnight on Saturday, and 9am to 10pm on Sunday. The rooftop bar is open from 4 to 10pm Monday to Friday, and from 2pm to midnight on Saturday and Sunday.