New for The World’s 50 Best Bars programme in 2023 is the Bareksten Best Bar Design Award. It’s another opportunity for bars that have not previously been ranked by 50 Best to receive an accolade – venues are invited to self-submit applications to have their design assessed by six of the greatest minds in the world of hospitality design.
The winner of the inaugural accolade is Night Hawk, a diminutive Singapore venue opened in 2022 that beat off competition from nearly 200 other bars. Inspired by American artist Edward Hopper’s mid-century masterpiece, Nighthawks, the bar is a dystopian, futuristic take on the painting, essentially asking the question: ‘If Hopper created his representation of the late-night bar tableau today, how would it look?’
Bar director Peter Chua partnered with architect Studio DinDing to create the answer. The pair took on the tropes of urban alienation and voyeurism that the painting implies to fashion a space which gives guests room to escape fast-paced Singapore. The result is a retro-modern bar using colour that stays true to the palette applied in the painting, but laced with chrome and silver to add a futuristic edge. The theme extends to the drinks, where Chua and team look to predict future cocktail trends, using advance techniques and ultra-modern flavour profiles.
Occupying a tiny space in the Tanjong Pagar district of the city, carving out 25 seats for the bar required serious architectural creativity. Rotating and foldable chairs are available which allows groups of varying size to huddle together, while all doors slide rather than swing to reduce their footprint. Similar clever touches are applied to the bartenders’ stations to improve ergonomics, including a carbonation machine to save space and improve sustainability and a glass-by-glass chiller system which freezes stemware instantly to remove the need for chillers.
An intelligently created bar designed with originality throughout the venue and built with environmental sustainability in mind, Night Hawk is an ingenious winner of the first-ever Bareksten Best Bar Design Award at The World’s 50 Best Bars 2023.