Oakland, CA


Bardo Lounge & Supper Club

Cocktail Lounge and Supper Club Brings the Midcentury Era to Life.

Inspired by the warmth and class of home entertaining in the 60s and 70s, the owners wanted to create a transportive experience that is at once comfortable and sexy. The design team dove into vintage cookbooks and entertainment guides for inspiration, and much of what fills the space was found by scouring antique stores: the centerpiece chandelier in the main room originally hung in the historic Imperial Hotel in Portland, Oregon; the entry door was salvaged from San Francisco’s original Fog City Diner; one owner even reupholstered his mother’s 50-year-old couch.

Yet the atmosphere is meticulously crafted to go beyond a vintage furniture shop and even the inevitable Mad Men references. Seating layouts were very thoughtfully planned to create the sense of several neighboring cocktail parties going on simultaneously. The bar area ups the swank factor with upholstered panels at the die wall, reverse-diamond-matched veneer bar top, and backbar millwork that features wood-framed speaker cloth and gold-veined antique mirror. A variety of vintage barware, stacks of records, and a rack of fold-out TV trays add layers of detail and delight. 

Music, a key component of the ambiance, was carefully planned for. To ensure that the music is experienced at conversation level rather than blasted from a bandstand, a sound engineer was engaged to allow each area of the space to be digitally controlled. Meanwhile, one vintage credenza houses a mobile DJ unit, and the furniture pieces near the front windows are easily relocated to make a cozy corner for the weekly soul and jazz groups that perform.

Retro and refined, every element of this lounge was designed with pleasure in mind.

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Status: Built
Location: Oakland, CA, US
Firm Role: Architect and Interior Designer of record