There are many ways bars can sneak onto their patrons’ favorite list, but Sundry and Vice of Cincinnati, Ohio, plays on the nostalgia for the past. An apothecary-inspired cocktail establishment designed by Julia Petiprin of PRN Interior Design, the bar combines traditional and contemporary elements into a design that allows customers to enjoy today’s comfort while tasting a bit of yesterday’s charm.
The plunge into the past starts with the storefront. On both sides of the entrance, a display of antique artifacts introduces the patrons into a turn-of-the-century atmosphere with prescription bottles and medicine jars bathed in soft light. Framed in gold leaf, the exterior windows announce the theme of the bar with oversized letters: Tinctures, Tonics, Remedies and Elixirs.
Inside, the design continues on the same nostalgic theme. The interior is built around the bar area, where custom-built shelves draw inspiration from their old versions from yesteryear’s apothecaries.
A clever and charming idea is the addition of authentic hand-written prescriptions for cocaine, opium and cannabis (dating back to 1920’s and 30’s) to the restroom walls. This impromptu wallpaper is just the right touch for a bar that proposes a pleasant return in time.
The beauty of the design lies in the masterful combination of textures. The interior is heavy with deep color – and a visual treat. Pine floors coexist with hand-painted Moroccan tile. Satin-grey French molding and wainscoting mix with brick and damask wallpaper. Carrara marble high tables are surrounded by walnut chairs, while metal bar stools sit across the tile footpath from the deep jade upholstered booths.
Above all this display of textures and carefully chosen materials, the tin-covered, charcoal ceiling subtly reflects and multiplies the light. The lighting creates an intimate atmosphere and enhances the nostalgic mood. A cast iron street light introduces the long row of booths, and antique sconces and pendants cast soft light over the place.
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