Aloha! Gabrielle here to take another look at design and how it works with bar and restaurants specifically! This month’s focus is a project near and dear to my heart as I got to be a part of the design team. The challenge was to to take a pre-existing co-work space and make it in to a premier craft cocktail bar.
The space has some amazing benefits passed over from the co-workspace such as a one of a kind mural painted by the leader of POWwow Honolulu, Jasper Wong and four unique office spaces to be developed. The location is in a happening part of town, Kaka’ako, Honolulu and is perfectly set up between all the going ons but still has a little mystery as it is on a block with no other bars or late night business. The feel is an oasis in the middle of the madness completed by the an outside Garden Bar area already starting to bloom with moon flowers and other herbs and plants planed for the near future.
The first challenge was to define the space and outline of the two wells and add the bar top in. The space was divided in to the outside Garden Bar, the Main Floor, the banquettes by the bathrooms are in the Study and the four offices were given names, themes and unique spirits to feature VIP room specific craft cocktails menus. The four rooms are the Peacock Room featuring Agave Spirits, the Parlor featuring Absinthes and Amaros, The White Room featuring Gin and Vodka and the Whiskey Library stocked and poured by Workplay’s own whiskey consultant. The rooms each feature comfortable seating and can be booked out for food and beverage minimums all through the day for meetings in the daytime and cocktails at night.
Once the space was laid out storage and shelving was needed for the back bar wall as well as to highlight the new coffee bar which is in use starting at 7 am! This place has the best latte in town as well as the best Manhattan! We added in a wine cellar that fits 1000 bottles and unique bar fixtures like a freezer drawer to host the clear cut ice, full size mixology stations and magnetic strips to stock tools on.
The furniture was picked to feel luxurious, Chesterfield couches are in all the rooms and big enough for a whole group to sit on, the bar stools are also leather and plush with hooks under the bar for each seat as well as charging stations for your laptop or your phone.
WorkPlay also features a large stage and very unique lighting fixtures in each space, chosen by the lead designer, Marshal Prather. The feather fixtures in the White Room, the Glass globes over the bar top and the Chinese lantern in the Parlor give great color differences in each of the spaces but still feel like part of the over all ambiance.
Even though you can’t tell yet the final jewel in Workplay’s crown is the Garden Bar. The carefully placed planters and trellis vines are slowly coming in but mark my words, one year from now you will feel like you are in a cool garden oasis hidden from the hot beating down sun and there will in fact be a bar outside for large events. The other benefit we haven’t even mentioned is the stage, set for amazing sound quality and WorkPlay will be hosting live music Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting in late January. WorkPlay is a bar that has been missing from the Honolulu scene, that classy place you can meet a coworker at for drinks in your work clothes and maybe mingle with other like minded young urban professionals. Who knows you may even get that contract signed over a libation with a perfectly clear ice cube making it Work but also Play. If you are visiting WorkPlay in the day time there is parking by the hour across the street until 8:30 pm and after 5 pm the 17 Redmont Construction Group parking spots are also available to WorkPlay guests.
What makes for a well designed bar? Pretty? Sure. Maximizes seating while keeping the guest comfortable? Great. Designed to give the user a great experience? Yes. But who is the user of a bar?
Problematically, most bars are designed with the user of the bar being the guest.
Gabrielle Maser, provides a unique perspective, as she is both Beverage Director at the Pacific Club and Owner of the Interior Design Firm G Design www.gdesignhawaii.com Follow her on Instagram at @gdesign