Loving the Lobby

By Dave Bontempo   Mon, Nov 17, 2021

Harrah’s Lounge and Lobby Bar, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Loving the Lobby

Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City sought to modify some of its nightlife attractions and offer guests a more subdued option to its high-energy nightclubs. SOSH Architects, the Atlantic City-based architecture and interior design firm, was brought in to create a new lounge and lobby bar adjacent to Harrah’s guest check-in and VIP registration areas.
“SOSH was tasked to create a traditional whiskey bar with a twist of the unexpected, to capitalize on the synergy of this location and to help welcome guests while they check into the property,” says Michael Mangini, the firm’s director of interior design. “This location is the epicenter of everything that is about to happen with the guest experience.”
The high-profile lobby bar seats 12 with an additional 2,000 square feet of lounge area. It opened in November. The team created a traditional space with library-like detailing, while incorporating a modern twist in lighting and artwork. The overall space creates a relaxing, comfortable environment, while incorporating impact pieces designed to spark conversation between patrons.
Some of the highlights?
“Interior detailing using library-like millwork throughout while incorporating a modern approach to lighting 500 bottles of rare and unique whiskeys from around the world,” says Mangini.
“The whiskey is both front-lit and back-illuminated to create an atmosphere of intimacy utilizing acrylic ghosted panels behind the liquor bottles. This juxtaposition is again interpreted using traditional furnishing but upholstered in an unconventional way.
“Some of the artwork subject matter uses x-ray images of common architectural and personal objects to help emphasize that they are familiar and yet unique and unexpected. It is seeing something common, but in a new light to spark conversation and dialogue.”
Other features include 40 faux tortoise shells of various shapes and sizes adorning the walls, and velvet drapery surrounding traditional millwork detailing of the walls.
“A few key elements were custom-designed to help relate both to the traditional architectural detailing and also the modern era in a post-industrial manner,” Mangini says.  
“The use of custom copper metal panels riveted to the bar die wall and a custom-designed black iron foot rest that was inspired from a single railway track is raised and bolted to the Baltic gray marble floor tile, which is laid in a herringbone pattern.
“A solid four-inch-thick Peruvian walnut bar top was designed to evoke the warm feeling of a whiskey bar from long ago. Some of the more contemporary detailing was used, such as a modern approach to display the amber alcohol of the bottles. There are three custom-designed glass display boxes suspended overhead at the entrance into the bar.
“This design element celebrates the whiskey bar by proudly displaying its offerings and also acts as a casino identifier inviting the visitor into the space.”

By Dave Bontempo

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