In the United States, there are over a million bars and restaurants each battling to differentiate itself from the next. Much like package design, there are countless elements to consider when launching a new concept—from the initial stages of defining the customer to properly developing the brand’s personality and integrity. Constructing an unforgettable, engaging experience can be a challenging and sometimes daunting task.
Recently, I came across a brand new, unique establishment that hit the nail on the head from a design perspective. If you’re visiting San Diego anytime soon and looking for an awe-inspiring setting to enjoy a fine cocktail, swing by Raised By Wolves, (Westfield UTC). This 1,500 square feet of retail space alongside a 2,000 square foot cocktail bar and tasting room designed by Paul Basile of BASILE Studio—CH’s longtime design partner whose work includes Born & Raised, Ironside Fish & Oyster, UnderBelly, and Craft & Commerce among others.
Behind a rotating “secret” door that also serves as a wolf-headed fireplace mantle, guests can enter the reservation-restricted, oak-lined speakeasy that’s designed to appear like a ballroom-style antique library surrounded by book shelves, booths, and tables lined with items like chess boards. A stained glass and brass gazebo-like roof sits over the main bar, which boasts a gorgeous fountain at its center, with the ceiling paneling lined with LED lights to brighten and darken in sequence with the outdoor lighting change from dawn to dusk.
Raised By Wolves provides CH Projects with a unique opportunity to parlay their expertise into a concept that educates imbibers and sparks curiosity around the art of craft cocktails. The shop’s assortment of retail items will include a comprehensive collection of books and barware for the at-home enthusiast alongside a signature line of exclusive CH branded goods. Beverage Director Anthony Schmidt’s devotion for vintage spirits and liqueurs—rums, bourbons, and bitters that were bottled decades ago—will be prominently displayed along with a selection of private label barrels, boutique spirits and other rare finds that local aficionados may otherwise never have access to.
For those of you, like myself, who aren’t lucky enough live anywhere close to this intriguing establishment, here are a few images to help you envision….