There’s something extra glamorous about shopping for home furnishings while holding a cocktail in one hand and gesturing toward a display of chic lighting fixtures with the other. A full bar framed in black and white cabinetry glimmers on one wall adjacent to crystalline shelves full of high-end glassware, swaths of fine fabrics spill down another corner of the room, and velvet couches tucked into black-painted niches gaze out at benches packed with decorative pillows. This combination speakeasy and interior design shop is an aesthete’s dream, and just about every single thing in it is for sale.
Founded by interior designer Julie Smith, who also owns nine other stores focused on home design, Jules Design Bar was initially envisioned as an amenity to Smith’s clientele. But the proprietor notes that the bar and its associated events have taken on a life of their own, drawing in customers entirely outside the design community. Smith has set up her office on site to make herself available for design consultations, but the popularity of the concept might just necessitate her moving that workspace elsewhere to make way for more products.
In addition to its tipples and wares, Jules Design Bar offers classes and creative workshops on topics like home renovation and redecorating, as well as wine tastings, trivia nights, and live music on the weekends. The bar’s menu will be finalized in March 2019, but it already includes such creations as the Waterloo Old Fashioned (Waterloo gin, St. Germain, Richard’s Sparkling Rainwater, and orange bitters) and a small “sticks and picks” food menu of items like Rumchata cheesecake bites.
The beauty of the barware is another selling point here, and maybe it should be more often. Just be careful not to drink too much and come home with far more purchases than you intended!
“Retail home furnishings, lighting, gifts, residential and commercial design — and yes…. a full bar and event space. Stop in and meet Jules and the team! Watch us blow the lid off the traditional furniture and design store footprint in our speakeasy lounge.”
“From a design point, I specialize in the modern and chic renovation and revitalization of commercial and residential buildings, as well as retail design,” says Smith. “Digging in deep, problem solving, looking for the good bones — then creating a functional updated amazing space gives me great pleasure. The generous use of nature, texture, pops of color, and lighting inspire me from beginning to end. I love cherry picking the old and antiquated, marrying that with the new and trend-setting pieces to organically combine and reflect a space that feels like it was always there.”
Even if Jules’ offerings aren’t quite your style, it’s easy to see the appeal of a combination bar and design shop. Wouldn’t it be cool if the idea caught on?