Whether you’re winding down after work or socializing with friends, these bars provide an awe-inspiring backdrop…
1. Jean-Georges by Neri & Hu Design and Research Office
Inside Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s new restaurant, brass-framed gradient glass partitions delineate the bar. Visitors can see the Huangpu River and Shanghai skyline through the heritage windows or reflected in an antiqued mirror etched with texts from French philosophers. Outside the bar, Doric columns, revealed during demolition, add an earthy crunch to the creamy rooms of the 1916 beaux arts structure.
2. Bar Zentral by Hidden Fortress
Jan Maley, Björn Meier, and Ingo Strobel of Hidden Fortress made every inch count in Bar Zentral, a 390-square-foot bar retrofitted into the arched space beneath a rail viaduct in Berlin. Patrons are kept entertained and on their toes with disorienting black and white stripes and abstract, pixelated portraits of Blade Runner characters in the bathroom, a Flavio de Marco mural behind the bar, and a raised floor so bartenders mix drinks within view. Not visible are the alcohol bottles which are tucked neatly away in dark cabinets that maintain access to the wall for when the transportation authority arrives to inspect the brick every three years.
3. Spring Place by Bluarch
Leather bar stools soften the brutalist, freestanding, cast-concrete bar inside the main dining room of Spring Place, a private social club in Manhattan. A vitrine, currently empty, hangs over the four-sided bar and is intended to entice members into the space, where Danish 1950’s chairs are complemented by blue velvet-covered banquettes resting on clear glass bases.
4. Pink Moon Saloon by Sans-Arc Studio
After work, employees in Adelaide, Australia can retreat to the understated Pink Moon Saloon, a 12-foot-wide gastropub sandwiched between tall office buildings. Designed by Sans-Arc Studio, the structure’s heavy use of timber and 60-degree roof pitch make it feel more like a cabin in the woods than a downtown bar.
5. Plant Food + Wine by Rene Gonzalez Architect
After meeting at an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Karla Dascal befriended the exhibition’s designer and curator, architect Rene Gonzalez. Well over a decade later, Dascal hired Gonzalez to design a restaurant component to her property in the Wynwood Arts District. Gonzalez collaborated with a landscaping consultant to create an indoor-outdoor venue that accommodates both casual and formal. The bar is topped in a flawless polished white marble and fronted in bamboo plywood, with a scrim of woven gold vinyl that separates it from the white, open prep kitchen.
6. Boomer Bar at Duke’s La Jolla by Bill Barsons, chairman of restaurant group T S Restaurants and Hatch Design Group
Named after six-time Olympic swimming and water polo medalist Duke Kahanamoku, who many consider to be the father of modern-day surfing, Duke’s La Jolla is a haven for surf enthusiasts. Photographs, memorabilia, and an impressive collection of original and replica surfboards are sprinkled throughout the space. The Boomer Bar on the upper level evokes a 60s era surfer’s garage with rafter-like wood planks on the ceiling and colorful concrete tiles. Communal bar tables encourage visitors to congregate and outdoor dining areas offer sweeping views of the ocean.
7. Founding Farmers Restaurant by GrizForm Design Architects
In Tysons, Virginia, barn builders from Vermont framed a barn roof in a storefront at the base of an office tower. The frame was then lifted with pulleys and secured over a bar inside what would become the Founding Farmers restaurant by GrizForm Design Architects. Other design elements within the 11,500-square-foot space include a wall sculpture of cookie cutters, a laser-cut tree silhouette, and a diorama showing how marshmallows are made.