The Ridge Room Rooftop Tavern Opens Thursday at Hyatt Place Harrisonburg
Local Purveyors, an Inspired Menu & Panoramic Views of the Shenandoah Valley
The dramatically situated Ridge Room Rooftop Tavern, opens on Thursday, December 16, atop the new Hyatt Place Harrisonburg hotel. Panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley are on offer, with a variety of indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant pairs the breathtaking vistas with a carefully curated menu of regional food and drink. The Ridge Room Rooftop Tavern has a separate entrance for walk-in guests and promises to quickly become the city’s most welcoming and dynamic gathering spot.
“We are thrilled to share this beautiful tavern experience with the Harrisonburg community,” said Randy L. Harman, CEO for Innovation Hospitality and Harman Realty, Inc., which developed The Ridge Room Rooftop Tavern and Hyatt Place Harrisonburg. “We’ve tapped Chef Dan Evans, a rising star with Harrisonburg roots, to create an outstanding menu. He’s drawing from the bounty of locally sourced products that are as inspiring as the unparalleled views.”
This is something of a homecoming for Chef Evans, who grew up in Harrisonburg and has been working in restaurants since he was 16. His career took off under award-winning chef Jeremy Sewall at Island Creek Oyster Bar and Row 34 in Boston. He was later sous chef at Lavagna in Washington D.C. and returned to Virginia to reopen the historic Highland Inn in Monterey before stints at Staunton’s Zynodoa and Blu Point Seafood Company, where he rose to the position of Executive Chef.
“It’s such a pleasure to create a menu that’s fun, authentically Blue Ridge, and can serve as a match to the stunning views and rustic chic atmosphere at the Ridge Room,” says Chef Evans. “As a Chef raised in these parts, it’s my greatest pride to showcase the best local producers and growers that Virginia has to offer.”
Chef Evans has indeed done just that, assembling an outstanding and remarkably thorough list of local purveyors, brewers and distillers as he’s created his food and drinks menus. His Glendor burger is made from beef from Glendor Farm, a fourth-generation 130 acre grass farm in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. He will serve Papa Weaver’s Pork, raised by seventh generation farmer Tom Weaver on a family farm originally owned by President James Madison. The chicken is SVO, short for Shenandoah Valley Organic's Farmer Focus Chicken. Breads are from Staff of Life, a production-only bakery that sells its European-style breads at farmers market in Harrisonburg. The Kline’s Dairy Bar Ice Cream on the dessert menu is from a business established in Harrisonburg in 1943, when John Kline began Kline’s Frozen Custard.
Other purveyors include Bittersweet Bakery in Harrisonburg, Edwards Virginia Smokehouse in Surry, Fae & Fauna Mushrooms of Swoope, and Main Street Farmstead in Stuart’s Draft.
Two Virginia-distilled bourbons, Ragged Branch Wheated Bourbon and Kopper Kettle Virginia Straight Bourbon, will be poured. There’s also a notable range of Virginia microbrews, including Red Molly Irish Red Ale from Pale Fire Brewing and Hoptimization IPA from Brothers Craft Brewing, both based in Harrisonburg. Other Virginia breweries whose beers are available include Basic City Brewing, Three Notch’d Brewing, and Stable Craft Brewing.
Virginia’s wines are well represented, with a Chardonnay from Bluestone Vineyards in Bridgewater, the Afton Mountains Vineyards “Monticello” Red Blend from Afton, and the Crosskeys Vineyards Viognier from Mt Crawford. The Virginia imprint also extends to many of the restaurant’s furnishings, including chairs made by local craftspeople.
The first Hyatt branded hotel in the local market, Hyatt Place Harrisonburg features 119 guestrooms and suites, with high-floor rooms offering spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Ridge Room Rooftop Tavern is the signature restaurant. Other dining options include The Breakfast Bar and The Placery, the latter serving a curated menu of comfort food at lunch and dinner and offering full bar service. There is 1,977 square feet of meeting space, complimentary WiFi, a 24/7 fitness center, an indoor heated pool, ample parking and EV charging stations. The hotel is located near Harrisonburg Crossing and the campus of James Madison University in a city known as a visitor gateway to nearby Shenandoah National Park and the park’s scenic Skyline Drive.
“One reason that Harman Realty selected us as their management partner is our experience in developing signature F&B concepts,” said John Schultzel, Chief Growth Officer for OHM. “We have a strong track record in creating and operating unique dining venues within our properties, restaurants with distinct identities that really connect with the local community.”