Revolution has been gaining a steady presence in cities around the UK since it opened in Manchester five years ago as a bohemian, Russian-style vodka bar. Three regional bars open for business this month: Lancaster, Bradford and, two weeks ago, Northampton – the most adventurous of the three, says Masonwood managing director Mark Mason.
Masonwood and Julian Taylor Design Associates undertook the lion’s share of Revolution’s interior and graphic design, and Taylor took the lead on Northampton. ‘No two Revolution sites are the same,’ he says.
Common Revolution elements aside – vodka mirrors and freezers and sofas – Taylor has sought to define different areas of the bar more clearly to turn the bar into a ‘voyage of discovery’ for customers.
‘In the past, the bars have had open spaces, but we are now defining drinking, eating and dancing sectors more strictly,’ Taylor adds.
Northampton is introducing a 35cm-wide ‘shelf’ with stools designed to cater for people grabbing a lunch. And, in the evening, once the stools have been cleared, the podium ‘breaks up the space and makes the bar area look busy’ as people rest drinks on it, says Mason. ‘We have tried to move standing room away from the sofas to avoid the “bum-in-face” scenario,’ he adds.
More attention has been paid to transforming Revolution at different times of day, says Taylor. The bar caters for evening drinkers and daytime lunchers, and is now addressing the needs of late-night revellers. Taylor has designed a back-illuminated graphics panel for behind the bar, featuring stock shots, which will change every month and be ‘seasonally relevant’.