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Online Exclusive – Center Bar, New York

Aug 14, 2013

“Center Bar does not live in a conventional set of four walls,” says designer Jeffrey Beers of New York-based Jeffrey Beers International. Set in the iconic Time Warner Center, the bar is an oasis surrounded by restaurants and shops. “Our challenge was to create a sense of intimacy and warmth in a heavily trafficked fourth floor atrium,” he adds.


To create this sense of seclusion from the rest of the floor, the entire space was built on a raised platform. “This—coupled with the linear shape of the layout—creates the illusion that the space is sailing through the atrium,” says Beers. “It creates a really striking entry.” Surrounding the bar’s perimeter, a gently curved low wall recalls the rounded shape of a ship’s bow, while oak plank floors finished in deep chocolate brown and inlaid with strips of lighter natural oak mimic a ship’s deck.


Rows of polished chrome rings set into the bar’s midnight blue pebbled leather are a more refined take on the nautical theme. “We chose a color palette that complements Center Bar’s surroundings, yet is unlike any of the other restaurants on the fourth floor,” says Beers. Working within the existing finishes and colors of the atrium, Beer chose to distinguish the bar with soft blue, gray, and champagne tones. “As a hospitality designer, my job is to make people feel safe and secure, even as they are surrounded by a bustling environment,” says Beers.


Overlooking New York’s Central Park and Columbus Circle, the bar echoes its surroundings with three bookshelf-like towers. Lining the back of the bar, they do double duty, showcasing the spirit bottles while not obstructing the view. “[The towers] were designed to look more like furniture pieces rather than a traditional back bar,” says Beers. “Even the towers themselves are reminiscent of skyscrapers in the New York skyline.”


A long, L-shaped banquette faces the open windows and overlooks this skyline. Upholstered in dove gray velvet with soft pinstripes, the banquettes complement navy pinstriped resin lamps. “Our seating layout, in concert with a soft color palette and rich materials, creates intimate moments for guests to enjoy a classic cocktail,” adds Beers.


Three crystal and polished nickel chandeliers both illuminate the 40-seat venue and take advantage of the locale. “These chandeliers draw pedestrians’ eyes up from the street level,” says Beers.  “If you are outside in Columbus Circle and look up towards the Time Warner Center, you can actually see the chandeliers sparkling inside.” Table lamps at the bar and in between the banquettes add a soft low-level light for an intimate feel.


 “I love the aesthetic of those unexpected bars in Europe that are thoughtfully detailed and personal—intimate places that have tailored details, well-proportioned furniture, and attentive service,” says Beers. “That’s what we wanted to achieve with Center Bar.”


hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



Produced by: Emerald Expositions
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