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Space Exploration Design gives Bar Americano a time-worn feel

Distressed plaster, exposed brick and mahogany millwork at this cocktail bar in Greenpoint were chosen by Space Exploration Design to “give the impression that it’s always been there”.

Bar Americano opened recently on the corner of a landmarked residential building on Franklin Avenue – a bustling yet not overrun thoroughfare in north Brooklyn.

Bar with U-shaped counter
The U-shaped counter at Bar Americano provides seating on three sides

Serving cocktails, aperitifs and small plates, the bar is designed with an intentionally worn-in appearance to integrate with the fabric of the neighbourhood.

“The directive that the ownership team of Bar Americano gave to Space Exploration Design was to create a neighborhood bar that gives the impression that it’s always been there,” said the studio, run by designer Kevin Greenberg. “[We] chose a palette of mostly warm, neutral materials with natural finishes that will patina gracefully over time.”

Bar detail
Mahogany millwork forms the back bar, which incorporates sconces decorated with abstract floral patterns

The bar itself is located in the centre of the space, with a U-shaped counter surrounded by wooden stools on three sides.

Behind, a mahogany cabinet displays a wide range of liquor bottles, and a vintage clock is affixed near the top.

Seating nook
Seating nooks are tucked into corners away from the standing room

Also embedded into the millwork are a pair of gilded sconces decorated with abstract floral patterns, created by Blaser Finishing, which also completed the plasterwork across the walls.

Tight tambour panels clad the front of the bar counter and the lower half of partitions, and fluted glass continues the same vertical accentuation above.

“To emphasise the simple, honest approach to the cocktails, Space Exploration employed a restrained detailing language throughout. A strong sense of verticality provides the perfect complement to Bar Americano’s delicate glassware,” the studio said.

Cosy seating nooks with leather upholstery of different sizes are snuggled into corners and window bays, away from the standing room.

Raised seating area
A raised seating area is set against an exposed brick wall

A larger area with two-top tables is raised a few steps up, set against an exposed brick wall.

Decorative tin tiles covering the ceiling were painted matte white, while brass was chosen for lighting fixtures, coat hooks and other hardware details.

View facing the entrance, with plaster walls and brass lighting
Distressed plaster walls and tin ceiling tiles add to the bar’s worn-in appearance

Bar Americano joins several design-forward food and drink spaces in Greenpoint, including the Sereneco restaurant informed by Usonian architecture and the plant-filled Vietnamese eatery Di An Di.

Other cocktail bars in NYC that have recently opened include the Upstairs lounge at Public Records in Gowanus and the rooftop bar at the Moxy Lower East Side hotel.

The photography is by Alice Gao.

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