Studio Us Design draws on its experience to create a pub that rocks to its own tune.
The foot starts tapping much before the music reaches the ears. It is clear from first glance that the Striker Bar and Brewery means to set itself apart from the other microbreweries in Gurgaon. To begin with, its location in Global Foyer Mall is offbeat, away from the other pub-bursting streets of Gurgaon. And second, its theme is music. With more than 200 eateries of various kinds to their credit Studio Us Design was an ideal choice for Striker Hospitality, new to the F&B business.
Sumeet Nath, chief architect of Studio Us Design says, “From the beginning the clients were keen on the brewery aspect. Initially, we toyed with the idea of a sports bar, but as we researched around Gurgaon we realised that there were already too many sports bars. That’s when the rock-n-roll theme emerged.”
In most part, the theme is incorporated into the decor subtly, be it the collage of back-lit records that make up the façade of the long red bar or the custom-made rock-n-roll wallpaper that spans over some of the wall area or the musical notes that light up the floor as the lights go down. Drum lights hang at regular intervals from the ceiling. Designed to look like antique film reels with pictures of various rockstars and bands on them, they provide light as well as titbits for conversation. The feature wall with posters of various rock bands and the backlit wooden panel with names of rock bands carved into them complete the rock-n-roll vibe.
Sumeet says, “The brewery part of the space was crucial to the designing of the bar. One, it occupies a large area almost 500-600 square feet and two, the vats would be visible.” Thus, the team had to make sure that the design element and the functional element had to co-exist. Shiny steel tanks have been placed behind glass doors behind the bar, bubbling unobtrusively as patrons enjoy a cold beer.
“One of my favourite features of the Striker design is the floor planning”, says Sumeet. It is clear why. All sizes and preferences of group are catered to. Besides the bar with the high chairs and stools, wooden chairs and tables take up the centre. Plush sofas create a lounge-like feel along the raised platform that takes up the edge of the space.
Two red pillars peek out from behind wooden slats and anchor the casual hanging-out sections where guests can wine and dine as they stand around and enjoy the music. Strangely enough these two pillars started off as an obtrusion. Sumeet says, “They were columns, right in the middle of the room, which we obviously could not do away with.” After much brainstorming the team came up with this concept which is so visually striking that it seems like the pillars have been specially added here.
The management at Striker was keen to play host to live events a couple of times a week. A stage has been created to serve this purpose. Silhouettes of a guitar and saxophone lit up by fibre-optic LEDs form the backdrop and carry on the rock-n-roll theme.
In its first year of operation, Striker won the “Best Ambience”, “Best Microbrewery” and “Best Pub” at the Times Nightlife Awards 2012. Since its opening it has become one of the most popular pubs in Gurgaon. Sumeet says, “A word of praise for the clients. They were new to the F&B industry. They placed their faith in our team and gave us a pretty open-ended brief to work with it. That really allowed us to work without too many restraints.”
The designers aimed for Striker to be a casual place and wanted it to have a ‘pubbish’ feel, not ‘clubbish’. The changing light allows Striker to take on different moods depending on the time of day. In the daytime, natural light floods in and provides an ideal pint-and-snack place for the casual visitor; by twilight it welcomes the corporate crowd looking to unwind over a cool drink and chatter and later at night it is time for the party crowd to take over.
Text by Himali Kothari
Photographs Courtesy Arvind Hoon