Your back bar is one of the main focal points in your pub design. Traditionally the back bar was a place to display wares for sale in a pub, weather it be in a shop/ pub where the wares may be a pair of boots or some tea (& a Guinness or beverage of your choice!) Or in a Victorian Dublin Pub with its array of top shelf Irish Whiskeys, Brandies & various liquors on display.
Irish back bars tend to be as high as they can be in the space allowed, they do not use canopies traditionally, that would be more English Pub design.If in a pub/ shop application the back bar will generally contain more shelves/ drawers/ cabinets to display produce, mouldings in this case would be typically simpler, whereas a Victorian style back bar will usually stretch up to meet the high ceiling of the room it sits into & will usually have more decorative mouldings, corbels & cornices.The back bar in this case would usually have beautiful decorative mirrors & height, as high as you can design it, as this give the back bar the sense of drama & importance it deserves within the pub.The back bar is like a window to your pubs soul, it should be impressive in design, ordered, gleaming, workable & beautiful.Keep refrigeration & technology to a visual minimum & focus on design & products!
This style of Irish pub harks back to a time when a lot of pubs were also grocers, hardware & even undertakers. They have been called 'spirit grocers', where the shop counter was also the pub counter & vice versa depending on what your purpose of visiting the premises were.
Customers could take a break from getting their provisions, to have a drink & a chat. The shop pub was a hub of activity in the local community.In fact my great grandfather had premises just like this, being a general grocer & publican; we still have some of the old whiskey jars & copper gills or jugs.In those days before supermarkets, a lot of grocers would have been set up this way, with the arrival of the bigger chain stores a lot of shops turned into solely pubs, although they may have retained the features of the shop style.
These pubs are simple in style, with shelves heaving with merchandise, usually the bar counter would predominate with a maybe simple seating area, as you sipped your pint you would be surrounded by every type of merchandise from tea & sugar to boots & nails! Usually the back bar in a shop/ pub style Irish bar is cluttered with, drawers, glass cabinetry & shelves, all designed to show off the merchandise. Window displays to the pub/shop would also be filled with the wares of the shop & advertising, usually the shop window would have a glazed window screen between the shop window display & the bar/ shop, often a cosy snug concealed behind this window screen, giving privacy to the customers within. The shop/ pub would typically have hard wearing floor surfaces, tiled or well worn timbers from all the customers coming & going. Soft lighting is achieved by means of traditional pendant lights hanging over the shop/ bar counter. Shop display cabinets are often positioned on & around the bar counter area. Colourfulbottles, boxes & tins containing merchandise are displayed in these cabinets the walls decorated with tin advertising signs or posters.Many's a discussion on politics, or local news, witty story or joke passed over the counter...if those bar counter's could talk....
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