Creative duo of Emporium Design, Robert Stansell and Timothy Welsh, recently completed Drexler's - the newest neighborhood bar encompassing inspiration from southern architecture.
Located at 9 Avenue A, the bar's southern charm extends throughout two floors with a bright space of white-washed ceilings, distressed plaster walls, rich walnut furniture, exposed brick and glowing double-armed globe light fixtures.
"We wanted to pay homage to the architectural vocabulary of southern design as seen in the French Quarters of New Orleans," Stansell commented. "We used light colors and finishes to make the bar warm and inviting so that guests felt comfortable spending time there throughout the day and night."
The layout of Drexler's has been designed to host 30 people seated at the bar and dining areas as well as up to a 15-person group at the communal tables by the entry. An additional entertaining space downstairs can seat up to 25 people at the bar and booths.
Upstairs, a custom 40-foot long, cast zinc bar spans half the length of the venue. Behind the bar are pivoting half-round, wrought iron transom grills used to display the lounge's top-shelf spirits. The backbar also showcases vintage cast iron bathtubs, repurposed as ice vessels to hold beer and wine.
To compliment the white washed ceilings and exposed brick, Emporium Design wanted to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere by using repurposed church pews with reupholstered seats as built-in booth seating. Communal tables made of large Walnut butcher-block tops on newel post legs can also be seen throughout the space. Dispersed throughout the two floors, the lighting is designed to emulate the historic south with a touch of modern, by combining wrought iron with globe lantern fixtures.
Framed in wrought iron, the staircase enclosure is flanked with open candles that lead to the lower cellar level. Similar to the upper level, church pew seating lines the side of the space with a walnut bar and tap system. Emporium wanted to create a flexible space for entertaining and offers a fully concealed DJ booth, and an upright piano for live performances, depending upon the night.
"We loved that we were encouraged to be as creative as we wanted to be with this project," Welsh stated. "Our palette was broad, focusing on combining new and repurposed materials in creative ways, especially in the many custom pieces that we designed and fabricated. We're particularly proud of the light fixtures, furniture, back bar liquor storage, and the hidden doors that reveal a piano and DJ booth area when needed."