Harbor Town's River Inn is a little hideaway on Mud Island in Memphis. It has always had a seasonal rooftop lounge - called Rooftop Terrace - that offers the perfect place to take in sunsets over the Mississippi River during warm weather. But recent changes make this comfy gathering space available throughout the year.
The recent remake of another nearby downtown Memphis hotel rooftop lounge seems to have spurred a mini rooftop lounge smack-down in our fair city - and the winner is anyone who loves a view, a good glass of wine and a little something on which to nosh. Thanks to a quick makeover (and perhaps the thought of competition), River Inn's Rooftop Terrace now has a new year-round life, a greatly improved menu and a stylish atmosphere.
What we like the most about this particular rooftop lounge is its location - perched just a few stories above ground level. The feel is casual yet upscale, and even a little homey. With large glass windows installed to throw open to good weather - or close when the skies turn ominous - there's an unobstructed view of the river, the main bridge and the pedestrian traffic below.
The space is not gigantic, but certainly large enough for a decent-sized crowd. There's a good-sized bar with seating, as well as lounge-y furnishings - banquettes with low tables and a few comfy chairs. Contemporary bistro tables and chairs can be pulled together for a large group - or separated out for a more intimate meetup.
The cheese and charcuterie plate is big on taste, and even the small version is nicely sized to share — Photo courtesy of Sally Walker Davies
The menu is full of snacks and small plates with a Southern flair. Think scallops with hoecakes, seasoned shrimp, chacuterie and cheese and even lamb sliders.
The Terrace is not a late-night spot: it closes at 10 p.m. five nights a week, and at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. But it is a lovely spot at which to end an evening, or simply watch the ever-changing sunset over the Mississippi.