I finally got a chance to look inside the Icon Lounge on the fifth floor of the Sunsphere and it is a very cool spot. The occasion was a City People social and it’s always nice seeing faces you know. City People is an organization of mostly residents of downtown, though others can join, which promotes living, working and playing in the city. They sponsor the great home tour which introduces so many people to downtown living.
The bar is, of necessity, on the small side as lounges go. Despite the fact that the Sunsphere looks large from below, each floor is actually pretty small. The core of the sphere is not open space, so you are left to work with the rim. Still, the outer edge is what being in the Sunsphere is all about because of the views which are pretty good, particularly at night. It’s too bad it wasn’t built to revolve which would allow different views, but sitting beside the window looking in most directions is pretty satisfying.
The seating in the lounge includes soft seating in one half of the floor and table seating on the other. They do serve heavy appetizers, so tables might be helpful if you are eating, but I didn’t eat and really enjoyed the soft seating which is shaped perfectly both for looking out and for conversation. And conversation is possible because the noise level isn’t extremely high. Despite the fact that more people came in after I took the photographs, making the place pretty crowded and music was playing in the background, I was able to hear and be heard in conversation, which is something I value.
A full bar is offered and a small selection of wines is available. I had a Syrah which was very good – but pricey. At $14 for a glass, it’s one of the two most expensive glasses of wine I’ve had downtown (the other was at S and W). I’m not sure if there were less expensive options because I ordered without seeing a list.
It’s worth mentioning that we were joined by a number of the entomologists in town for their convention. There are thousands of these bugmen and bugwomen running around the city. Not that it bugs me. 🙂 It’s been fun to see science-types milling about the city and to overhear some of their earnest academic conversations. Sometimes people don’t realize we really do get conventions at our fancy convention center. They’ve been here for days taking hundreds of hotel rooms and eating hundreds of meals.
I’d suggest a ride up the elevator some night soon to check out the new lounge. It’s pretty, comfortable and a good place to talk with friends.