Linger rises to another level, with a new rooftop patio

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When chef/owner Justin Cucci decided to follow the success of Root Down with a makeover of the old Olinger mortuary, the result was a breathtaking restaurant space, with decor in both the dining room and the second-floor bar that's both gorgeous and amusing, full of subtle (and not-so-subtle) references to the building's past.

And now Cucci's added a third seating area to Linger: the patio, which opened quietly last week and makes the most of a stunning view.

The rooftop deck sits just below the old Olinger sign and offers unfettered views of the cityscape. Built with wood and hung with twinkling lights, the space is filled out with countertops and simple white tables and chairs, and there's ample space for standing and socializing while you're waiting for one of those tables.

And this is only the beginning.

Phase two, explains Cucci, will feature not just an expanded deck area, but also a rooftop-specific bar and kitchen, which will enable Linger to do more. Right now, all of the drinks and food are coming from the already overworked bar and kitchen below; as a result, Linger has been limited what can be ordered on the patio.

For now, the patio is serving a board of special drinks that come in pitchers (though you can order individual servings, too) and a limited menu of food. "We're only offering food we know can make it up there and still be right," explains Cucci. "We don't want to serve anything that won't be hot anymore once it gets to the patio."

Construction on phase two won't begin until the weather warms up again next year, but in the meantime, Cucci's pleased with his new addition. "We're glad we got it open before winter," he says.

The rooftop is open until midnight Tuesday through Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Seating is first come, first served.

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