The reach of ever-shifting technology can be felt anywhere; every day there is a new way to talk, a new way to date, or a new way to shop. Some of these advances are a welcome relief from age-old problems, while others merely add a new dimension of fuss.
However, certain areas of life are affected more than others. It seems self-evident that the way in which we communicate has changed rapidly over the last 20 years, but take an activity like bike riding or fishing and you’d be hard pressed to find an innovation that’s really made a difference in hobbyists’ lives.
One such undisturbed activity, until recently, has been drinking. From weekend warriors to the men and women keeping their local in business, the essential setup of the pub or bar remains the same. One enters the premises, pays with cash or card, and then dances, converses, or merely relaxes at one’s own discretion – until now.
Below we take a look at the three up-and-coming bars transforming drinking and bar experience with innovative tech.
The Pembury Tavern – London, UK
This quaint-looking, quintessentially British pub hides a technological twist behind a pleasing veneer of old-time cheeriness. The Pembury Tavern was one of the first watering holes to lead the charge in the bitcoin revolution – a new and exciting form of digital currency.
Bitcoin allows consumers greater control over their cash and does away with many of the restrictions imposed on transfer by banks. This has made it a popular choice for many businesses, including casino sites, travel companies, and the online games distribution platform Steam. The draw for many is that Bitcoin does away with the financial red tape encountered when sending money overseas, making it a great move for businesses with geographically diverse consumer bases. However, this also echoes with the Bitcoin ethos of putting the consumer back in control, with sites like VegasCasino even allowing their customers to mine their own bitcoins! The online casino has built its own faucet for players to get free bitcoins in exchange for completing easy tasks and then use them to play slots, roulette or even blackjack games with live dealers.
Inamo – London, UK
This oriental fusion restaurant and bar shakes up the formula in a unique way. By allowing customers to operate personal, table-fitted projectors, Inamo adds a level of customisability to the wining and dining experience never before imagined. Usually, the pathos and vibe created by a bar’s decor is at the heart of the manager’s vision, and is part of what the customer is paying for. At Inamo, this concept is turned on its head, as the customer becomes the author of their own experience, turning the interior decor into a multi-faceted, ever-changing, chimerical landscape.
The Park 112 – New York, USA
At this classy wine bar, convenience and decorum slam into one another with interesting results. The aged vintage selections are dispended via an Enomatic – a machine not so different from the fizzy drink dispensers found at Subway or MacDonald’s.
This is a subtler innovation that the others featured on this list. But unlike personalised projections or digital wizardry, the move from formality to tech-led, easy-going atmospheres is one we can see catching on.
Ultimately, it’ll be down to consumers to shape the changes in the bar experience. As weird and wonderful technologies become easier to operate, cheaper, and ubiquitous, bars, like many other businesses, will naturally want to experiment and to see what they can bring to the mix.
However, which of these innovations stick around will be down to which float our – the consumers’ – boats, or, as it were, wet our whistles.