“The coolest sports bar in America” was the client's request, and that's what architect Rand Elliott delivered. Located in a brand new upscale retail development promoting local Oklahoma City businesses, RePUBlic Gastropub is the anchor tenant of 26 storefronts. Elliott wanted to create a place that would celebrate the “spirit of sport” but at the same time be a great dining experience. The design and the accompanying material palette—steel, terrazzo, wood, leather, and glass—recall the power and grace of athletes, and make sports fans and non-sports fans alike feel comfortable in the space.
The restaurant is divided into two areas: a bar, which seats 30 customers; and a dining area, a combination of booths and tables, which seats 171. The bar's main focus and primary source of ambient light is a 200-inch projection screen, and there are also 103-inch plasma screen TVs and a two-story beer cooler and bottle display. These elements are countered by a singular design feature: a two-tiered glass wall with a pattern of individual bubbles of different sizes (1½ and 2 inches in diameter) that wraps the entire restaurant. Composed of glass sheets (the upper panels measure 5 feet 8 inches wide by 7 feet 6 inches tall, and the lower panels measure 5 feet 8 inches wide by 1 foot 6 inches tall) coated with an amber film, full-scale drawings were used to study the right density for the bubble pattern. Backlit with LED strips, the wall becomes a continuous light datum that adds a sophisticated sensibility to this pub.
Jury Comments: Contemporary and muscular with a nice use of materials. • The bubble is a nice feature and way of introducing a singular design element. • The designer is not afraid to let the space be dark.