Of course, the unusual bar set-up can pose its challenges too, for example, as many of these spaces don’t have a back bar, that traditional bottom-lit, stadium-style showcase for product.
“It’s not a normal room,” Bar Seven Five’s Sidle acknowledges. “But we get a plethora of drink options with limited space.” Like Drink, there is no back bar, and the “pods” provide limited space for bottles; with few spaces for trash cans, bus bins are used for emptying out shakers. There is also no place to wash or rinse glassware and shakers, so each “pod” is stocked with hundreds of each.
After success with the Bar Seven space, Andaz is contemplating whether the “pod” system will translate well to the other hotels and what other challenges it may pose.
Just don’t ask some mixologists how these unusual set-up impacts sales. “The way the bar is designed is not to ensure maximum profit,” notes general manager John Gertsen at Boston’s Drink. “It’s so people can enjoy their drinks and watch them being crafted by hand. This is more like having a drink in someone’s kitchen.”