Patrons enjoying drinks at The Terrace at Trump
The Terrace at Trump, summer 2010

What would I do right now if I worked downtown? I’d knock off a little early and head over to The Terrace at Trump, where I’d be among the first drinkers of the year—on an almost-gorgeous afternoon, no less—to take in the best views in the city. Today is the Terrace’s soft opening for the spring and summer season, and in a phone call this morning to the bar’s manager, Kamilah Mahon, I got the scoop on its new Polynesian-chic theme.

The Chaser: Doesn’t the Terrace do a different theme every year? Last summer it was bubbles, and the summer before that it was . . .

Kamilah Mahon: It was nautical. The reason we’re going with Polynesian this year is not only because it’s season-appropriate but because it’s such a great juxtaposition: a tropical oasis with the iconic city skyline in the background. Aesthetically, it’s phenomenal.

TC: How will drinkers be able to tell they’re in a Polynesian paradise?

KM: We have all new beautiful custom furniture made of ite wood. It’s some of the strongest you can get, and heavy, which we needed so it wouldn’t blow away up here. We have new larger booths that accommodate up to seven people. We also added a water fountain, palm trees, and a new bar with a white marble top. Our hostesses are wearing flower clips in their hair, and the servers have new uniforms that are 1950s-inspired A-line dresses in warm green, plus wooden beaded necklaces.

TC: What are some highlights from the new menu?

KM: We have seafood platters, a few sushi rolls, and great curries, but save room for dessert and try the Mai Tai push pop or the ginger macadamia nut float. It’s finished with Goose Island ginger soda. [A note: The new eight-drinks-strong cocktail menu is full of fruity-sounding—and pricey—concoctions like the Coconut Castaway, made with Ketel One Vanilla; $22.]

TC: How many new seats did you add?

KM: About 65. We had the space and we had demand. All of the seating is arranged along the rail, so everyone gets the best views. Now you can even see the sunset from some of the seats on the north end.

TC: I’ve run into Trump-sized waits on some weekend nights. What’s the secret to getting a good spot?

KM: It’s all about timing. Our longest waits usually coincide with typical dinner rush hours, so I’d suggest coming earlier, between 2:30 and 5:30, or later, after 9:30. Or try a weekday.

P.S.: If a $22 drink isn’t extravagant enough, this year the Terrace is taking reservations for its most coveted table, the eight-seat Octagon. Prices start at $1,800, which includes one magnum of Dom Pérignon, a specialty punchbowl, and a seafood platter.