by Jerry ElengicalJul 15, 2021
The newly constructed MAD Bars House is a six-storey venue that looms over the pedestrian street in the historic district of Lviv, Ukraine. The bar has been designed by YOD Group, well known for their hospitality design and commercial design, with a distinct concept that is evident in both its exteriors and interiors. The core idea of the multi-storied bar is that with every level the visitor ascends, the alcohol percentage of the drinks served in each restaurant increases. The staircase acts as a physical manifestation of this concept. At every landing visitors are greeted by a mosaic floor pattern that depicts the alcohol percentage of the corresponding level. Visitors can begin their journey on the first floor with the pub, then progress through the second floor for wine and fine cuisine to a small bar with specialty drinks and local liquors beneath the roof. An elevator is also present for the ease of the visitors.
The designers chose to leave some of the existing brick walls partially exposed in order to showcase the historical significance of the building. Following the same idea, shoulders crafted from wooden shoes wrap around the bannisters in leather to pay homage to the footwear workshop that occupied the building a century ago. The designers created a narrative combining comfort, liquor, jazz, pleasure, and magic. The bar at every floor of the building has a distinct identity, however they are all united with a similar colour scheme and aesthetic.
Located on the first floor is Varvar Pub, conceptualised as a typical sports pub. Here one can get crafted beer, cider, and nitro cold brew coffee. It features a tall wooden bar counter, and multiple screens to broadcast sporting events. The counter, crafted in oak without any joints, was once used as timber joists 150 years ago. There are self-service beer taps, where a customer can pour beer into a glass and pay for it themselves, in addition to traditional beer taps handled by bartenders. Under one of the tabletops is a hidden treasure, an anti-griddle machine for producing ice cream from liquors.
On the second floor is the Win Bar, a branch of a bar with the same name in Kyiv. This section of the building houses custom-made glass chandeliers, classic Bauhaus seats, and towering shelves filled with wine bottles from all across the world. One of the walls is covered in wooden casting moulds that were purchased from a local glassmaker, where the decanters were custom-crafted and fashioned for the restaurant. A suspended chandelier made of vine shoots hangs over the round table. The designers decided to offer a tribute to the pre-existing architecture by encasing the top portion of the arc dome in glass.
The third level of the building houses Wona restaurant. Within arm's reach of the diners is an open kitchen that serves as the stage for gourmet shows. The inside is clean and simple with light wood, light tiles, and subdued lighting.
The next floor has been designated as a large utility area and kitchen where all dishes, for all menus from all different floors are prepared. Buzz Bar, located on the fifth floor, is a traditional American bar with a square counter in the centre of the room. It has a stage as well as a DJ booth. The carpet has an exquisite pattern, and the abundant light reflects on the relief steel sloping ceiling. It also features an amorous pattern on its bathroom walls.
On the top, i.e the sixth floor, is the Molfar Bar. Here one can sample Ukrainian bar mixology using components created in-house from local herbs and plants. The décor features dark glass bottles, deep lounge chairs, an open fireplace, fur, shadows, scents, in a chamber-like ambience.
The co-founder of YOD Group and MAD Bars House, Volodymyr Nepiyvoda, sums up the entire experience saying, “We have created not just a venue, but a new unique restaurant format. It is possible to adjust MAD Bars House to different scales, regions, and cultural features. It is a place where bars perfectionists that are mad about their work are gathered. Local, top-grade, uncompromisingly best.”
Name: MAD Bars House
Location: Lviv, Ukraine
Area: 1295 m² / 13939 ft²
Status: Completed in 2021
Design: YOD Group
(Text by Supreena Dash, intern at stirworld.com)