When designing a bar, I always return to the question: What makes a place magical, a place to have a night to never forget? A great example of an enchanting space is Harry’s Hardware Emporium, one of Honolulu’s few hidden speakeasy’s to those “in the know”. This bar is designed and owned by Dave Newman, also owner of the adjacent Pint and Jigger and former United States Bartending Guild President. The concept was conceived over twenty years ago, but only recently has been unveiled.
Address: 1936 S King St. Honolulu, HI 96826 Reservations Call or Text: (808) 379-3887
To highlight a few of the aspects I touched on last month we are going to take a closer look at one of my all time favorite bar spaces Bevy, owned and designed by my mentor, master mixologist Christian Self and his business partner and DJ Timo Lee.
Designing an efficient bar or restaurant is similar to designing any other space. The difference is in the details, as they can make or break functionality. The challenge for many non-specialized designers that have no bartending experience, is a lack of understanding the specific needs of the space, just as someone who has never cooked may face challenges when designing a kitchen.
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. Except a guest uses a bar in the same way one uses a table. All a guest needs to be able to do is put a drink down. The real user of the bar is the bartender. What exacerbates the problem is when the bar is created by someone who has never bartended. This inevitably results in lost of revenue.
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