Dominican drink inspires vibrant bar design
POCIÓN | Washington Heights, NY, U.S.
size: 2,500 sf
completion: July 2016
photos: Harriet Andronikides
Shop! member studioBIG contributed to the design, brand concept, logo, and menus.
LOCATED IN THE HEART OF WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, N.Y., U.S., Poción—meaning “potion” in Spanish—offers a natural spin on a cocktail bar with bespoke, specialty potions and Dominican-inflected vegan bites.
Poción’s interiors, brand concept, and logo are based on Dominican owner Alex Peralta’s vision for a bar in the neighborhood that was different, contemporary, organic, and crafted as an homage to the Dominican Republic’s national drink, Mamajuana.
Linear wood planks traverse the west wall of the lounge, forming banquette seating under an inset installation of green, blue, and clear glass bottles, inspired by the vessels that contain the bar’s namesake potions.
The wooden wall folds at the back to define the seating area while shielding the restroom entrances and supporting a trough sink. The freestanding wall’s clear glass bottle feature creates a space and a dramatic backdrop for live music—a design requirement for the project.
Custom-designed elements flank the concrete bar. At the back, white-and-green wallpaper features an abstracted version of the studioBIG-designed Poción logo. At the front, visible from the street, a backlit laser-cut metal wall expresses the bar’s concept to patrons and passersby.
The bar’s delicate test tube chandeliers, custom made in Poland, provide a light counterpoint to the concrete bar top and floor and reference the Poción bartenders’ scientific approach to fusing an array of aromatic, medicinal, and natural ingredients.
studioBIG Founder Leah Plevrites’ hand drawings of each cocktail’s components illustrate the menu, enabling patrons to see the role each element plays in a healthy cocktail.