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March 2 2010


L’Arc Paris, Restaurant-Bar & Club, has been open for four months and at least the Club has already become the place where you go if you want to be with the chic, the famous and the beautiful. Mostly, you go there to be seen.
 

Last month, one of the must-see occasions at the Club was the Chloé Van Paris’s Fashion Burlesque Ball, a masquerade where the dress code, according to the Club’s Facebook page. Party - Club Party was “13 cm heels, nylon, glamorous stockings, retro, pine-up, dandy, sexy, smart and glamorous.”

At the Restaurant, chef Antony Germani (of L’Atelier Joël Robuchon) presides over menus of seasonal everything-made-from-scratch delicacies.


 
L’Arc occupies the former premises of l’Etoile Nightclub at 12 rue de Presbourg, with views of Arc de Triomphe but it was completely redesigned by Cannes-based Prospect Design.

Prospect was established in 1996 by Samy Chams (and expanded into Dubai in 2005) whose night-club design work includes VIP Room in St Tropez, Baili in Cannes, and Maddox and Movida in London. - Tuija Seipell

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November 5 2009

Kettner’s in London’s Soho has hosted the famous since 1867 when Auguste Kettner, chef to Napoleon III, first opened the venue. Close to the theatres and other entertainment, the venue has undergone many incarnations with regular patrons from Oscar Wilde and King Edward VII to Agatha Christie and Bing Crosby each leaving their famous vibes in the space.

The four Georgian houses that form Kettner’s have now been refurbished, upgraded and reconfigured into several spaces: The Brasserie, The Pudding Bar, Champagne Bar, The Apartment and several private dining rooms and event spaces including the famed Cabinet Particulier and the grand The Salle.



The new Kettner’s with its fun, delicious and semi-sinful French undertones and furnishings was designed by London-based Ilse Crawford of Studio Ilse. Crawford’s other hospitality and retail assignments include a restaurant for Grand Hotel Stockholm, interiors for Kranzbach Spa Hotel in the Bavarian Alps and Aesop’s Mount Street shop in London. - Tuija Seipell

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July 26 2009



Boutique beauty brand Aesop has launched another collaboration with inspiring Melbourne design firm, March Studio. After designing award winning stores in Adelaide (remember that amazing ceiling constructed from recycled bottles?), Melbourne (those product displays crafted almost entirely out of recycled cardboard), Studio March was charged with the task of designing a temporary installation doubling as a bar at Melbourne's recent State of Design Festival.

A partnership with Absolut Vodka and the British Design Council, the installation, called "After Dark" was brought to life with 1400 meters of tracing paper, forming the cocoon-like ceiling and walls. We can't wait to see what they do next. - Lisa Evans


 

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February 2 2009




For years now we've been hitting the pub with our mates - ordering pint upon pint of beer - and although many of us have a preference for a local brew or a dark malt or an amber, plenty of us have been quite happy ordering the old fallback, a green-necked Heine - and almost everywhere we go, from the smallest desert roadside watering holes to the cosmopolitan lounges and clubs, we can almost be certain Heineken will be available.  



So how does a brand, which is recognised worldwide, reengage its consumers and reinvent its story? The US-based BRC Imagination Arts, one of the world's leaders in experiential marketing, has developed the New Heineken Experience - an interactive journey through the history of the brand and the brewing process. The experience is housed in the former Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam.



Visitors to the restored brewery push their senses to the extreme as they see, smell, touch and taste everything that goes into the production - brewing and bottling Heineken beer. A special effects ride allows visitors to immerse themselves into the entire process from conception to completion with interactive exhibits as well as interpretive graphics. With the New Heineken Experience, the company hopes to develop renewed, enduring and personal connections with those of us who have always loved Heineken. - Andrew J Wiener




 

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October 29 2008



Renowned English interior designer Tom Dixon is behind Paramount, London's hottest new venue located on top of city landmark Centre Point tower. The bar's aesthetic is a blend 60s retro and futurism, articulated through the use of hard-edged materials like concrete and stone to create a kind of space-ship meets super-club. The star of course, is the spectacular view, which is only enhanced by Dixon's clean, modern interior. 



Anyone hoping to pay a visit to Paramount better get to work on their "applications" for membership, a process which, rather frightfully, mirrors a job application. Aspiring members must be "assed" by a panel including English actor Stephen Fry. We're not generally fans of such pretense but thanks to Dixon, it looks like all of the hoopla may actually be worth it. Start typing. - Lisa Evans



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July 23 2008



Clubbers and night cats in Beijing not only shake their booties to the hottest beats at the new ChinaDoll club, they are also surrounded by work from some of China's best contemporary artists. Founded by award-winning Chinese actress/producer Ai Wan and club designer Wu Ying, ChinaDoll was conceived and designed via their studio E.P.I.C. Design where the original club first opened in Beijing at the end of 2006.



Relocated now to the main strip in Sanlitun, the new club is prominently located on the top floor of the '3.3' plaza building. The good news for party-goers is that this venue is three times bigger, comprising a lounge, dancefloor and eight VIP rooms. With their motto The Art of Play', the interior of ChinaDoll takes art out of the gallery and into the club. The overall theme of the interior revolves around 'The Kiss' with passion and sensuality taking centre stage.



The work of six contemporary chinese artists is integrated into the interior, custom made installations and furniture, depicting for example sexy female forms, Chinese dolls or modern Chinese love lives. A glossy backdrop of lightboxes adorned with abstracted fashion photography references the brush strokes and vivid colours of chinese water colours. When illuminated, it creates an electric atmosphere making ChinaDoll a lolly shop for the eyes and an amusement park for the senses. - Jeanne Tan



Seen a new club/bar we should know about? Then get in contact with us



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March 12 2008



Everybody is going crazy about Mumbai's Blue Frog, opened earlier this year. It's a 1,000-square-meter complex that includes a club, restaurant, lounge, sound stage, recording studio and sound lab, all encased within the massive walls of an old warehouse in Mumbai's mill district. The Blue Frog Club interior may remind you of those delirious nights at the end-of-summer Exhibition with its midway games, roller coasters and dizzy-making rides. Or you may suddenly start channeling Queen Amidala, addressing the StarWarsian Senate from her floating pod. Luckily, Blue Frog does its dizzying job in a way that is totally stylish - not a tacky thing or overdone costume in sight. And everyone's table is definitely on level ground, although it does not appear so first.



Designers Chris Lee and Kapil Gupta formerly of Chris Lee Architects and Contemporary Urban, and now of Serie (London and Mumbai) have managed to create a cohesive yet exciting space by stripping the visual cues down to a only a few very strong ones.

The equilibrium-challenging effect is achieved by the clever surround-millwork that uses a circle as its main form. The mahogany-paneled millwork circles each round table, forming circular booths or pods in somewhat varying shapes at various levels, guaranteeing great sightlines for all. Not wanting to compete with the lighting or other embellishments of the stage acts, the interior is dark except for the top surface of the booths.



The glowing back-lit resin surfaces tie the seating area together even when a stage show is on, and make it a bit easier to gain one's bearings in the otherwise dark space. Like seating in a Roman amphitheatre, the pods circle and rise from a stage area that can also double as standing room or dance floor in a club set-up. Acts from India and from around the world are starting to make Blue Frog Mumbai's hottest club. By Tuija Seipell

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January 14 2008




Opened in late fall 2007, Electric Birdcage at Haymarket in the heart of London's West End, has been receiving mixed reviews. One thing is certain, though, it IS getting a reaction from everyone who visits.

Electric Birdcage is a magnificently weird combination of Alice in Wonderland and Russian Aristocrat, dim sum parlor and late-night cocktail bar, sophisticated party venue and silly funhouse.

The owners, brothers Richard and Anthony Traviss, knew where to go for eccentric and totally extravagant interiors: to London's beloved venue designer Shaun Clarkson. His handiwork can be seen, for example, at La Pigalle, Covent Garden's Denim, Play Room, Profile, Power's Acoustic Room, The Bloomsbury Ballroom, Atlantic Bar & Grill and Jerusalem.



Electric Birdcage's surrealistic interior includes a Fibonacci-style patterned floor, tables made of tree roots, gigantic pink hands for chairs, lavish Vegas-style mirrors, imposing black stallions, two snarling black polymer panthers, a carousel bar and iron birdcage chandeliers dangling from a pink ceiling. Even the DJ operates from a birdcage.

Capacity crowd of 300, served by cute staff in retro airline get-up, can order Pan-Asian fare by head chef Somporn Khamsaenphan all day, and stay until 4 am enjoying cocktails by mixologist Chad Shields. You and seven friends can share the signature Electric Birdcage bowl filled with a mix of champagne, Absolut Raspberri peach schnapps, Cointreau, Absolut Citron, strawberry puree, gomme syrup, orange juice, fresh raspberries and blueberries. That should elicit a reaction, if nothing else will. By Tuija Seipell


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July 30 2007




T-O 12 is a new nightclub on Stuttgart's notorious 'party mile,' Theodor Heuss-Strasse. Like the street, the club is also named after the late Theodor Heuss, a fun-loving, dashing man and the first person elected for a full term as the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. Clubbers call the joint either Theo (T O sounds just like Theo in German) or Theo Zwulf (=Theo 12 in German).

To create the three-story club, the owners hired two Stuttgart-based firms: Architecture and communications firm Ippolito Fleiz Group, and graphic designers i-d buero. The result is a sleekly mysterious, pitch-dark space with white furnishings and massive black-and-white murals. The all-black walls, ceilings and floors together with the huge mirrors and tiny light spots produce an effect that is vertigo-inducing and fun. Theo would approve. By Tuija Seipell


 

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June 18 2007



Yes, we all saw Lost In Translation and thought, ‘hang on a minute, if Bill Murray can seduce Scarlett Johansson by singing ‘More Than This’ then maybe we could too!’

Let’s face it, karaoke has always been the butt of bad movies, and its reputation is currently languishing somewhere between Japanese businessmen necking methylated spirit and hen parties ‘cutting loose’.



But recently, it has started to reclaim its cult status from half-tanked brides-to-be, and become a little bit more palatable.  This new karaoke bar has been quietly, or rather, loudly, winning acclaim for its alternative approach to the nation’s favourite pastime.

Rather than the dark booths of your standard karaoke club, this new private members’ sing-along has incorporated young artists to help liven up the interior.  Think Manga cartoons but with a Lichtenstein edge.



Each booth has its own distinctive decor, and every surface has a graphic to reflect the spaces they fill.  Which is a far cry from the matted walls and vinyl floors some bars choose.  And most of all, it’s members only, so there’s no need to worry about being harassed by a woman with oversized fairy wings stuck to her back. By Matt Hussey.

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