A rooftop bar in New York without the pricey pretension

In New York, a rooftop lounge is one of the more coveted pieces of real estate. Combined with incomparable city views, the price of a cocktail in many rooftop bars can actually be less than admission to the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock. Unfortunately, most of the city’s rooftop bars require VIP connections or are uncomfortably jam-packed.

One alternative to the madness is mad46, the Roosevelt Hotel’s rooftop bar, which is kicking off its third summer season with a newly renovated interior space that opens right onto the terrace. Best of all, there’s no cover or minimum charge — a refreshing change when compared to other pricey skyscraper lounges in the neighborhood. If space is available, reservations are accepted for groups of any size, and there’s no requirement to order bottle service. All of this helps to make the 19th-floor lounge an unexpected (and overlooked) treat amid all the office buildings in midtown Manhattan.

Cocktails range from $12 to $16, but look out for fun promotions, such as “When it rains, we pour” — a clever name for when mad46 bartenders hand out half-priced drink specials as long as the rain lasts. This could be a real money-saver in the summer, when thunderstorms can be brief but thoroughly drenching. Plus, the rooftop bar has retractable awnings and a cozy interior lounge, so you won’t have to cancel your plans if the forecast calls for some sprinkles.

Check www.mad46.com for other promotions, which may include Martini Mondays (possibly with manicures), Tequila Tuesdays, and sunset movie nights on Wednesdays.

Details: mad46 is on the 19th floor of the Roosevelt Hotel; enter on W. 46th Street at Madison Avenue. The rooftop bar is open in April from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays; the full summer season begins in May with hours extended until midnight on Mondays to Fridays and until 2 a.m. on Saturdays. Hotel guests generally will receive priority if there’s a line, though reservations are the best way to nab a spot. Right now, www.theroosevelthotel.com is showing packages starting at $169 per night.