In a colorful bar in San Diego, California, kombucha has been taken to the next level: It’s been spiked—and the owners hope to harness the drink’s good-for-you reputation to help people develop a healthier take on drinking.
Opened just this month by surf buddies Forrest Dein and Greg Serrao, JuneShine exudes a coastal vibes, thanks to lots of greenery, and warm, wood accents layered with textiles. “The concept was to bring in materials and elements that reflected the product—organic and natural with a coastal bohemian vibe,” explains designer Katie Gebhardt, principal of Solstice Interiors, the studio that designed the space. “Before bringing me on, the founders had collected tons of inspirational images reflecting what they wanted from the space, and the goal was to make the space a destination bar, more than a brewery. We wanted to people to not only want to come to the brewery, but to stay a while—and come back.”
To achieve that casual feel, Gebhardt looked for relaxation, as opposed to perfection. As the space was already blessed with tons of light and large windows, she worked to make the rest of the bar feel simple and calming, by using neutrals, white, and rattan to give the space “a more earthy, organic feel.” She divided the space into three different areas, each with its own look, based on customer needs.
The main seating area features hairpin wood dining tables and chairs (to avoid “too many legs to busy up your line of sight”) that complement the natural beamed ceilings and crisp white walls, with only simple pendant lights illuminating the area. “When the sun goes down, the light from the pendants leaves the most beautiful reflection on the white walls,” says Gebhardt. “Plus, with benches, you get more of a communal aspect that pushes you to connect with someone new.”
Just beyond lies a cozy little nook that reminds one more of a friend’s living room than a traditional seating area, and the variety of accents helps the space feel cozy, but not cluttered. “It’s certainly a delicate little dance,” says Gebhardt. “I really wanted to avoid getting pigeon-holed in a full-blown ‘boho’ design, and also incorporate a bit of my own style into this space. By bringing in some vintage and indigo textiles, braided-jute poufs, and leaving the walls white, it helped keep things more muted and eclectic at the same time.”
By using a repurposed-pallet coffee table that was painted white and covering up the imperfections with surf-inspired pieces, Gebhardt created an area that was akin to a home. “We knew this would be one of the ‘Instagrammable’ moments in the bar, so incorporating that large, natural wood sign with the JuneShine logo was extremely intentional—any time someone is sitting there taking pictures with friends, you can’t miss that beautiful JuneShine logo,” she says.
Made with green tea and honey (as opposed to the black tea and sugar used in traditional kombucha), JuneShine’s drink is all-natural and organic, making it healthier than traditional wines and beers. In addition, one percent of all proceeds go towards environmental causes, which makes sense, given the owners’ connection to water and the outdoors. While the natural wood epitomizes the sand, the main event—the tiled teal and white bar—represents the sea.
“I wanted it to be a pop of color, as it’s the first thing you see when you walk in,” says Gebhardt. “It’s easy to lean towards what you know is safe, like a white or black surfboard would have been cool, but this color combination was a bit more unexpected and different. Adding tile always elevates the space, and white subway tile is so cost-effective, so we added that to further enhance the bar area.”
Final personal touches were also created by way of trendy artwork and a Polaroid wall, which hangs next to shelves styled with plants and vases. “We added games like “Settlers of Catan” and “What Do You Meme” for those groups of friends coming in and hanging out for a while,” explains Gebhardt.
The Polaroid wall also lets people put their own touch to a space they’ll (hopefully) visit quite often. “We wanted something interactive for customers; something that brought those coming in together—and this was a great way to do that.”
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