A cocktail always tastes better when savoured in beautiful surrounds. With your needs firmly in mind, we’ve toured the globe to bring you 11 new bars with architecture that packs the same punch as the negronis. Here’s where to quench your thirst…
Bar Botanique, Amsterdam
Tropical foliage is a bit of a thing in Oost (East) Amsterdam, and local designers Studio Modijefsky made it the theme of Bar Botanique, set in the gentrifying ‘Indies’ neighbourhood. It directs the eye upward to clerestory windows and art deco iron. Visitors can sit in Caribbean windows or at the sinuous marble bar. Eerste van Swindenstraat 581, 1093 LC Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The Green Room, Portland
Upstairs is a ‘library’ of wall-to-wall whiskey. But The Green Room, opened a year ago, is the looker, with a recessed tin ceiling, Tiffany-style chandeliers, stained glass and the eponymous green tile backdrop. Oak tables match the original wall paneling and creaky staircase. 1124 SW Alder Street, Portland, Oregon 97205, USA.
Mad Giant, Johannesburg
Sit at a Meccano table at the South African microbrew pub Mad Giant and admire the red-painted beams of this 80-year former factory. Haldane Martin brought in recycled Rhodesian teak for the herringbone floor and weighty industrial chandeliers, hung from eight-metre ceilings. 1 Fox St, Johannesburg, 2048, South Africa.
Japan-based architect Florian Busch stripped down this one-time brothel and drinking den and built a steel staircase that runs the entire eight levels. Home to a gallery and cocktail lounge, the building is designed to create ‘a horizontal sequence of encounters’, says Busch. ‘The evening evolves as a gradually changing course of events, from an aperitif on ground level to a digestif overlooking Pontocho.’ Kiyamachi Dori, Kyoto, Japan.
Hotel Cotton House, Barcelona
Hotel Cotton House was the Cotton Textile Foundation HQ, which is why it looks more West Indies than Barcelona. It’s been meticulously restored, decorated with caning galore and given a new bar where rum and gin flow like water. Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 670, 08010 Barcelona, Spain.
Nido at Hotel Mar Adentro, San José del Cabo
Mar Adentro guests stay in ‘cubes’ that virtually float on the edge of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Then they take sundowners on a white linen divan in a massive ball of twine, with views of the sea framed to either side. Paseo Malecon San José Lote 8, Zona Hotelera, 23400 San José del Cabo, BCS, Mexico.
This legendary nighttime joint appears totally untouched since its 1940s heyday. In fact, Zonars has been entirely refitted by design practice K-Studio for operator Chrysanthos and Spyros Panas, from the walnut paneling to the mosaic floors and Art Deco bar. The Michael Anastassiades lighting slots in rather nicely. Voukourestiou 9, Athina 106 71, Greece.
Architects Build Inc sent strips of brass around this listed postwar setting like gilded channels, and installed brass-framed lighting and furniture as a complement. From the bar of the Herzog, it looks as if the brass bands are raining light. Maxburgstraße 4, 80333 München, Germany.
Old Glory, Nashville
Old Glory is a post-industrial dystopian utopia, a place for tequila cocktails among crumbling concrete and naked steel beams. It still has the feel of an old boiler house with very little intervention – just a few colourful mosaics and some leather seating. 1200 Villa Pl #103, Nashville, TN 37212, United States.
Cheval Bar, Thessaloniki
Textures collide inside Thessaloniki’s Cheval Bar, designed by Ark4Lab of Architecture. Nestled in the heart of the city’s Mitropoleos street market, it’s a concrete lover’s haven with smooth polished floors offset by rough chevron-patterned wall and bar panels. An origami ceiling-hanging softens the bar’s industrial look, coupled with soft leather booths and chairs, while a smattering of green plants injects a burst of colour. Mitropoleos 51, Thessaloniki 546 23, Greece.
Beta Bar, Sydney
Part of Sydney’s Hellenic Club, Beta Bar was conceived as a soft-hued counterpart to Peter Conistis’ Alpha restaurant, which it sits above. Its interiors nod to the crumbly townhouses of Greece, with exposed brickwork and layers of plasterwork laid bare. Pastel-shaded furniture by designer Paul Papadopoulos provides a contemporary contrast, paired with a cluster of orb lighting pendants which hang from its ceiling. 238 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, Australia.
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