Who has Richmond’s highest rooftop spot The Graduate or Kabana?

Karen Biskie and George Nyfeler at The Byrd House. (PHOTO: Mike Platania)

RICHMOND, Va. — In the world of rooftop bars, height matters.

So much so that a debate arose in recent weeks between two of Richmond’s rooftop spots, as they disagreed on which venue is the highest.

The beef was between the ventures atop The Graduate Richmond at 301 W. Franklin St. and the Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites at 700 E. Main St.

Upon opening its rooftop restaurant and bar, The Byrd House, The Graduate claimed to the media and in an ad campaign it had the tallest such establishment among its peers in the city, sitting atop the hotel’s 16 floors.

The claim drew rebuttal from the owners of Kabana Rooftop on the Hampton Inn and Homewood hotel, which claimed its bar was taller, sitting atop 20 floors.

The Graduate defended its initial claim, saying though the building has fewer stories, The Byrd House is technically higher than Kabana based on elevation above sea level. The Graduate is located at 301 W. Franklin St, three-quarters of a mile west and uphill from Kabana.

Kabana still didn’t budge from its stance. In the end, BizSense stepped in to settle the score and set the record straight.

Enter Nyfeler Associates, a civil engineering firm based near VCU that specializes in land surveying and mapping.

Knowing that owner George Nyfeler is up for anything, BizSense enlisted his firm as an objective third party.

Nyfeler and survey crew chief Karen Biskie obliged, and on Monday went to both bars with a Real Time Kinetic GPS – a $23,000 piece of hardware that measures coordinates relative to the gravitational center of Earth using U.S. and Russian satellites.

Now, for the official measurements:

Click here to see the results on RichmondBizSense.

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