This Chengdu Store-Bar Is The Future of Retail Experience

A series of mirrored panels obscure the cocktail bar that lies inside this shop-cum-cafe in Chengdu, China created by design studio Office AIO.

Tim Kwan, the proprietor of the business and a co-founder of Office AIO, is responsible for the shop’s peculiar moniker, which is O.

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Best Bar Decor

Beautiful airplane and decanter set – It’s a cool airplane with a body to decant whiskey or whatever you choose. It has etched glasses with it that are very nice. It’s a great show piece but it can be functional too.

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Best Whiskey Glass Set

Outstanding quality! – Like a lot of other reviewers have already stated, the quality of this set is outstanding. It’s in a presentation box perfect for gift giving. The glasses are heavy and have that classic “whiskey glass” look. The stones are large and will definitely keep the drink cold without watering it down

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Best Cocktail Shaker

Good Bar Set – Decent quality, my wife loved it. Loses a star for cost, didn’t seem worth it for the price but its good quality nonetheless.

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Best Light Up Bar Sign

Nicely designed BAR sign! – Love it! Perfectly packaged, all of the lights are functional, and the vintage style adds the perfect touch to my homemade kitchen bar.

Using the first letter of the word “object,” Kwan and the proprietor of the business came to the conclusion that the letter O was the “ideal form expressing eternity” since it lacked a beginning, an end, a direction, and a correct way to turn it.

During the day, the 68-square-meter space functions as a café that sells and shows a selected range of lifestyle goods and designer furnishings; however, at night, it transforms into a bar. The shape of the letter O, which loops around itself, is a tribute to the shop’s changing role.

There is a long sandstone counter that runs along one side of the shop, and it is on this counter that the coffee maker is located. In the immediate vicinity is a long wooden table on which the bartender may make the customer’s drink orders.

A fireplace has been included into the base of the counter, and this fireplace may be activated as night falls in order to create a cosier atmosphere inside the retail establishment.

On the other side of the retail establishment is a row of fold-down chairs covered in brown leather and a shelf made of silver-colored metal on which items are exhibited.

Chengdu cafe features interiors inspired by Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel

The nighttime drinks bar is hidden behind mirrored panels that seem to line the back wall of the shop; nevertheless, these panels can be pulled back to expose the bar. The inside of the panels are covered with empty liquor bottles.

The remaining areas of store O have, for the most part, been left with simple surfaces. On the top half of the walls, an off-white paint has been applied, while the bottom half of the walls have a spotty strip of exposed concrete running around the perimeter.

A few indoor plants housed in pots and a series of arching screens that are hung from the ceiling right below them both contribute to the aesthetic appeal of the space.

The final screen has been outfitted with an LED strip light that has a dimmer switch so that a variety of colours may be diffused around the area.

According to the explanation provided by the studio, “[The screens] lend a feeling of character to the shop without occupying any footprint.”

“We believe that this place will promote quality ideas, items, and people to connect and share, and finally attain a wholesome experience that is objectively desirable,” it concluded. “We hope that this space will encourage quality ideas, objects, and people to interact and exchange.”

O by Office AIO has been given a place on the longlist for the small store interior category of the Dezeen Awards for this year.

It is not the first day-to-night venue that the studio has produced; in fact, it just finished Bar Lotus in Shanghai two years ago, which is known for its emerald-colored walls and undulating rose-gold ceilings. The project was awarded first place in the restaurant and bar interior category of the 2019 Dezeen Awards. The judges praised its combination of modern and classic elements, which helped it stand out from the competition.

Photography is courtesy of WEN Studio.

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