Bar Design

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I wouldn’t exactly say that I am a student of bar room design, but I have certainly been in my share of bars, taverns, and pubs. I have even operated one for a little while, and I know how much having the right look matters. Bar design is crucial. It means different things to different people, however. When most people hear phrase like bar interior design, they picture some yuppie bar serving 12 dollar cocktails in Manhattan. It is true that these bars put a lot of thought into design, but they are not the only ones. Even your back alley dive has a really intentional look to it. After all, people go to a bar to be comfortable. They want to feel free to relax with their friends, have some drinks, and cut loose. Some bars are designed to support a certain single scenes, with decor that makes people feel amorous. In other bars, you are just there to drink. You probably very rarely think about it, but barroom design is almost always intentional.

The bar design feel is first set up before you even enter inside. The bar signs cue you in. Next time you are walking by a bar, think about what you see. Do you see beer signs in the window? Do you see flashing lights, neon signs, or a simple marquee with old-style lettering? All these bar design ideas give you some clue about what place you’re about to enter.

An Irish bar, for example, is likely to have a simple looking, unpretentious bar sign above it. It might have neon signs for various beers in the window, and then again it might not. It will set you up for a wood-paneled, earthy bar design. If you are talking about a more stylish, upscale kind of place, you will have different bar designs altogether. You might have very modern looking lettering, sparse, angular, and difficult to read. Then again, you might have an ironic weathered it look to the whole place.

A neighborhood bar will have a completely different feel altogether. Not all bar design in little neighborhood dives is the same, but it is all designed to make you feel comfortable and at home. It is no coincidence or accident that these bars are called dives. People don’t want to part with the old tables covered with graffiti, or the old chairs with cushions wearing through. People want things to have a weathered, worn look that speaks to their age and history. That, after all, is a big part of the reason why you’re going to that bar in the first place.

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