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Cocktail bar with fog rolling over it and drinks lined up in front of large windows at the AC Hotel in San Francisco

Five Cocktail Bar Designs to Savor

Staci Patton

We don’t focus on boundaries between architecture or interior design; our aim is to design spaces that deliver an elevated guest experience. And we often agree with our clients that a lounge or cocktail bar is a great way to transport guests to a reality that feels different from the day-to-day. From hotels to cocktail bars to intimate concert venues, here are five uniquely designed spaces to help you relax and connect with your chosen company over a hand-crafted cocktail.

Wood bar with grey counter in room with floor to ceiling windows in front of mirror with central abstract swirling panels
AC Hotel Oyster Point in San Francisco, CA. Photo by Dylan Cross/Dragonfly Image Partners.

AC Hotel Oyster Point
Headquartered in Madrid, Spain, the AC Hotel brand is committed to delivering the most authentic local experience for each of its locations. In San Francisco, that neighborhood experience is translated through an homage to the history of oyster farming and ship building. Seashell-inspired ceramic surfaces and large floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the bay activate guests’ nautical experience. At the bar, our design team worked with the hotel’s beverage team to design a space that complements Oyster Bay’s signature cocktail “Karl the Fog.” Watch Karl roll into the AC Lounge in San Francisco.

Marble patterned bar with base illuminated from within in white room with arched window. Black built in shelves behind bar
AC Hotel Spartanburg in Spartanburg, SC. Photo by Dylan Cross Dragonfly Image Partners.

AC Hotel Spartanburg
AC Hotel’s first South Carolina property in downtown Spartanburg juxtaposes the classical architecture of the city with the AC Hotels by Marriot’s signature modern interiors. Guests can enjoy a selection of Black Mountain Movement masterworks, on loan from the nationally-acclaimed Johnson Collection, as they sip on local micro-brews and specialty cocktails mixed with locally distilled liquor.

outdoor hotel bar with warm woods and speckled accents on grey floor, beach vibes, and full bar service for vacation
The Laylow Hotel in Honolulu, HI. Photo by Linny Morris.

The Hideout
Originally built in the 1960s, the Laylow Hotel overlooks the hustle and bustle along Kuhio Avenue in Honolulu just minutes from world-famous Waikiki Beach. Our design for the renovated hotel brings the classic building back to life with restored nostalgic details and a newly expanded roof top space for The Hideout, a destination bar and restaurant that appeals to guests and locals alike. Visitors enjoy sandy-bottom fire pits as they sip cocktails and dine on local cuisine. Situated behind the island’s mountains, The Hideout is shady and cool in the afternoon, and offers live music nightly in an open-air setting.

Green tiled bar with warm toned flexible seating area. Arm chairs and couches by green tiled fireplace framed by white walls
The Elizabeth Hotel in Fort Collins, CO. Photo by Darryl Love.

Magic Rat
Music plays an integral role in the design of the Elizabeth Hotel in Fort Collins, Colorado, and we incorporated high-end acoustic products throughout the hotel to quiet unwanted noise and enhance the musical experience. This design consideration is particularly evident in the hotel’s destination bar, the Magic Rat, whose namesake comes from a Bruce Springsteen song. The bar’s Art Deco-inspired furnishings include custom furniture handcrafted specifically for the room, and velvet couches patrons can sink into as they enjoy cocktails and music in the softly lit, intimate setting.

Nye's Piano Bar in Minneapolis, MN. Photo by Richard Brine.

Nye’s Piano Bar
Nye’s has been a Minneapolis institution for 66 years, and our approach to reimagining this community icon brings the beloved institution into the modern era while paying homage to the classic aesthetic for which Nye’s was known. High-backed banquette and bar seating is augmented with a bespoke bar top around the piano, for guests who want to interact with the musicians. Hand-crafted millwork, custom-designed mirrors, 1-inch black-and-white hexagonal tiles, and brand new upholstery in the bar’s signature red and gold hint at its historical roots. An exposed brick wall features a 60-foot long mural created by local artists. The interior is illuminated by several classic stone rainbow lights, as well as the original Nye’s Bar neon sign, which was refurbished and brought inside as part of the renovation.


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