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Bar Design for Pleasure and Profit

by Betsy Gilliland, Club and Resort Business

From soft seating and an open, airy décor to the masculine appeal of dark wood and leather, properties have endless options when it comes to designing a bar. However, good design is more than meets the eye. Staff personalities and efficiency of operations are equally important to ensuring that a property’s bar is the top destination of choice for its members and guests.

Double the Fun Biltmore Forest Country Club in Asheville, N.C., has two bars—a main bar that is attached to the dining room and a men’s grill bar. Coziness and consistency are the primary design elements in the décor of the men’s grill bar. This bar features dark wood, dark leather, indirect lighting and wrought-iron chandeliers. Paintings and vintage 1920s-era photographs from the property’s carefully preserved archives accent the walls.

“Everything that is on the wall is related to the history of our club,” notes General Manager George Schwab. The bar, which measures about 1,000 square feet, holds 50 to 60 people. Its intimate atmosphere adheres to the mission of the club, which is to emphasize the social aspects of membership, Schwab says.

“Even the ladies prefer the masculine look in the bar. It fits in with the clubhouse décor,” he adds. “It’s cozy. In a mountain, historic type of way, it makes the place feel more inviting.”

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