With most companies, we’ve had to build up trust over time, but a few have hired us on a leap of faith. The latter is true of Stonecutter Spirits, a local Vermont spirits company that proudly ages their gin and whisky here in Middlebury. Even though we were a brand new design firm, they took a chance on us, and what started as a bar installation evolved into the opportunity to design an entire space.
Stonecutters wanted their bar to be the go-to gathering place for patrons to try their unique and delicious cocktails, and share their love for local spirits. Our design pairs modern, funky touches with natural and reclaimed materials to match the character of their brand. We started by designing a welcoming, communal bar that makes it easy for one bartender to serve a big crowd. We used bent plywood to create the bar’s unique curves, and then wrapped in vertical slats of charred oak that references the barrels their gin is aged in. The dramatic, serpent-like shape facilitates customer interaction and draws visitors in. The bar top is made of hand-hammered, acid-etched zinc. Over time, the living alloy has changed color, and the top shows character and authenticity from its use.
The back wall has a window into the barrel aging room, so we kept that as a visual focus that complements the materials on the front bar and the rest of the room. To add character, we fabricated custom seating booths entirely out of reclaimed pallet wood. They rest on iron casters and can be easily moved by customers or employees to modify the space and suit their needs. This makes customers part of the design process, as it allows them some choice in choreographing their experience in the space. ∆