Are you a like to learn?
I am actually a big learner. Even though my knowledge about beverages and bars and everything, which has remotely anything to do with it surpasses quite anybody except of google, wikipedia or wolframalpha, I still find myself researching daily something new.
Rest assured, that there is not so much which can surprise me with a big chunk of steaming new information, I also like to spread my search farer from my original turf. And often I can find new ideas and inspiration in a completely unrelated subject area.
One big inspirational pond are the video of TED. One big step in my professional emancipation [of common perceptions] was the video of Malcolm Gladwell, who made clear, that customers don't necessary know, what they want (...).
Today I found another one. It is by the famous movie director, writer and producer J.J. Abrams.
And it is about mystery.
One might ask, what it does have to do with "the" bar?!
Well - if it comes to bars, people are affected by the magical craft of cocktail making.
Even pubs, which are on the greasier side, do have something mysterious about them. Then there are the dozens of spirits, which are usually used very seldom, but also adds mystery.
Unfortunately modern "designer bars" kind of destroying this mystery most of the time, and replacing the magic with... well design. And this is exactly, why often these bars are surprisingly unsuccessful.
Even today, people like to fathom mystique. Maybe this demand is even more subconscious than a clear decision. But the impact is real. This is the reason, why whisky or tequila bars are so successful - even today, these spirits spark the imagination of consumers and the wide variety is not easily conceivable.
Off course, there are several factors, which can damage the magic in the bar:
- bright light
- cold light
- direct light
- puristic design
- cold colours [of interior]
- unsuitable / loud music
- large empty spaces
- unsuitable cocktails
- large brands
- TV sets [even more if showing sports / MTV]
- uniform furniture
- any type of stone interior [marble floors, granite countertops etc]
- stainless steel
- cold/fresh smells [citrus, dettol, pine etc]
And these are the things, which will definitely help to promote some magic:
- Use of brass & copper
- warm light
- natural lighting [gas, fire places, candles]
- indirect light
- suitable music, like jazz
- room dividers and space "break ups"
- "magical" beverages: craft beverages, whisk(e)y, tequila, mezcal, rum, gin
- authentic and suitable mixed drinks
- individual furniture
- "age'able" furniture
- carpet or wood dampened flooring
- warm smells [cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa, wood etc].
What is bar magic for you - and how do you think, to revive or retain this mystery in our bars?