Bar

This Brooklyn Firm’s Elevated Bar Designs Will Heighten Your Buzz

Bars such as Vini e Fritti, Bibo Ergo Sum, and The Spaniard prove that tying one on in a space by Home Studios is worth the $15 cocktail.

Bars such as Vini e Fritti, Bibo Ergo Sum, and The Spaniard prove that tying one on in a space by Home Studios is worth the $15 cocktail.

It would be hard to find an outfit doing more to refine the imbibing experience right now than Home Studios. In the mold of pioneering New York hospitality firms like Roman & Williams and Avroko, founder Oliver Haslegrave has cultivated a talent for imbuing projects with a timelessness that stems from a use of salvaged materials and a keen interest in history. While it’s certainly true that the Brooklyn-based practice has steadily expanded its repertoire since launching in 2009—including restaurants, retail, and residential, a line of home décor, and an upcoming hotel in Memphis—Home’s recent spate of dapper bar debuts stands out for elevating a genre that often falls back on tired tropes. “We’re not a great fit for a lot of projects,” Oliver admits, “but [the ones that are] art-based, diverse, really detail oriented, and exploratory are what we’re after, whatever shape that takes.”

Pastel hues at Bibo Ergo Sum. (ABOVE) The main bar at Bibo.

Last year alone, that approach materialized in the Brooklyn rebirth of cult East Village cocktail spot Elsa (Home’s first bar commission); West Village burger-and-whiskey joint The Spaniard; Danny Meyer’s Roman-inspired aperitivo spot Vini e Fritti; and, in November, Bibo Ergo Sum, an art deco stunner in West Hollywood. At Bibo, led by a team including the minds behind New York’s renowned Death & Co. and Tait Forman, entrepreneur and heir to Arclight Cinemas, the result is a space both theatrical and functional, taking its visual cues from black-and-white French New Wave film, 1900s Viennese Secessionist architecture, the Memphis Group’s wavy shapes and colors, and Modernist Finnish designer Alvar Aalto. “It’s not a movie–themed bar, but it has that narrative string to pull on. Having those subtle notes is amazing and part of who I am. It’s the very definition of L.A. in many ways,” Forman says. Just about everything is site-specific and was fabricated in Home’s Brooklyn atelier, right down to the tap handles—a customization process they’ve become known for. Despite the nods to Tinseltown culture, Death & Co. cofounder Dave Kaplan says the city hasn’t seen an arrival quite like this before. “Everything Home has done is so relevant in the cocktail world. They have a dramatic aesthetic not often seen today, and bringing an outside design style into the L.A. landscape is new and refreshing.”

 

The Spaniard’s leather banquettes.
(LEFT) Backlit mirrors line Elsa’s restroom. (RIGHT) Home’s custom stools at Vini e Fritti.
The bar at Vini e Fritti.

(All photos courtesy of Home Studios)

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