Raising the bar: Anirudh Singhal’s Haus of Bars is designing functional home bars for India
SpeedX, the brand behind the bars of SOCIAL, Sidecar, Bombay Canteen and Loya, launched a premium home bar vertical, Haus of Bars, to bring the bar experience home.
The cocktail-first culture is no longer limited to hip bars in India’s urban centres. During the pandemic, the trend trickled down to homes, with youngsters going the extra mile to create exotic concoctions and experimenting with cocktail mixers in their own spaces. This, in turn, gave way to more people hosting top-notch house parties with the finest tipples.
That’s where Haus of Bars by SpeedX fits into the picture. While SpeedX was founded way back in 2011 by Anirudh Singhal to create custom bar solutions for restaurants, it was only during the pandemic in September 2020 that he pivoted to home bars that are based on the principles of ergonomics, efficiency and functionality.
SpeedX has designed close to 800 bars for top restaurants in the country, including Sidecar, Lair, Loya, Bombay Canteen and Americano. In fact, all the entries on The World’s 50 Best Bars and Asia’s 50 Best Bars rankings have been designed by them.
“During the pandemic, when this business slowed down temporarily, we decided to bring the same principles to homes,” shares Singhal, who is also part of a jury to judge the contenders for the all-new Bareksten Best Bar Design Award.
When Haus of Bars by SpeedX started in 2020, it was the first Indian brand to be onboarded in the home bar segment on Tata Cliq Luxury. It is also accessible on platforms like Pepperfry, Amazon India and its own website. Its progress is visible in the last two-and-a-half years—today, it sells 8-10 units per day across platforms in the country.
It has multiple offerings that elevate the luxury element. One of its most interesting bars is Model C, a coffee bar that doubles up as a full-blown cocktail and spirits station. It comes with an inbuilt coffee percolator, an electric kettle and a milk frother. It also has a bezel-less, backlit mirrored cabinet that looks stunning and is perfect to store bottles. This stylish model is priced close to Rs 40,000.
“We have also recently launched the wooden metal series where we have drawers in the bar, which have soft close hinges made by premium brands like Hettich and Blum. This is a small addition but it takes the luxury quotient to the next level,” he adds.
Their most premium home bar, among stock models, is Double Model X, a six-foot-long bar priced at Rs 1,09, 999. As the name suggests, it has double everything – two refrigerators, two display cabinets on either side of the bar, and is the only bar that has a full-fledged ledge on top that allows you to put a bar stool on the opposite side. This feature offers an elevated experience just like a commercial bar in a restaurant.
Haus of Bars also works with multiple textures like dark leather, tan leather, Satvario marble, slate wood finish and walnut wood finish, among others. To achieve the right finish and touch, they have tied up with the American company, 3M to make textured DI-NOC films that are as good as the real deal.
At the reach of a hand
Haus of Bars focuses on elevating user experience.
“Previously, those who were interested in the home bar space would look up designs on Pinterest or similar websites and ask a local carpenter to replicate the model. Even if the job was well done, these bars were hardly functional. We have a core baseline for our home bars–if someone has to make a drink at home, they don’t have to run to the kitchen,” he continues.
This doesn’t mean people don’t step out for a drink anymore. For Haus of Bars, it is all about creating the right environment for someone who wants to enjoy their favourite beverage at home on any day of the week, without having to head to their preferred bar.
“All home bar models by Haus Of Bars are built keeping in mind the Indian home setting. These bar cabinets have everything–a bar fridge, bottle displays, ice storage, fully functioning cocktail station, bottle opener and even towel holders,” adds Singhal.
While there are multiple variants of small refrigerators available in the market, Haus of Bars work with a model that supports thermoelectric cooling. This means that these refrigerators come without a compressor and do not emit aerosols into the environment. Plus, it’s completely noiseless.
These bars also have garbage bins and sinks that do not require any plumbing. Singhal explains, “You can park it in the middle of your drawing room and enjoy a drink. Under the sink, we have two containers–one is filled with water, the other is empty and powered by a pump. When you open the tap, it sucks all the water and collects in the empty container.”
Haus of Bars has also recently launched sensor-based taps, commonly seen in restrooms in public areas.
Chic and understated, Haus of Bar’s models are designed by its in-house team of functional and design experts who work on creating bars that blend functionality with design. Currently, it is in the process of collaborating with two leading fashion designers in the country to create limited editions.
“We designed a home bar in Vadodara, where sensibilities didn’t permit the clients to have alcohol seen. We did an invisible bar that was inside the counter, where everything was hidden. All one had to do is press the button for the bottles to come up. Despite the challenge, we made sure it is efficient and functional,” reveals Singhal.
Haus of Bars has also made a unit in a swimming pool housed in a sprawling farm house in Chattarpur, New Delhi and designed a bar on a helipad in Mumbai.
The bars are designed based on the propensity of the client’s spending capacity, says Singhal. Their top grossing age bracket is between 35 and 44 years, followed by 45-60 years.
While the choice of bar may differ from a small cabinet to a full-fledged counter, Singhal says we’ve arrived at a point where having a home bar has become a necessity.
“In the D2C business, our average sale price is Rs 55,000-60,000, while the average order value is Rs 45,000. The decision to buy these bars is almost instantaneous; that’s the nature of the market. That’s why we tied up with Amazon Prime in key states of the country, because people suddenly decide they want to throw a party and want a ready bar the next day,” he adds.
Apart from its innovative range of home bars, it also offers home bar essentials like coasters, mats, aprons, glassware and bar kits. The glassware typically includes pottery tiki ware with different faces and sculptures to copper and brass mugs. Haus of Bars also offers mats and coasters created from upcycled corkwood and car seat belts.
Simplicity is at the heart of the startup’s designs.
“One just needs a little space and an electrical socket. In India, it is important to make things as uncomplicated as possible. We aren’t like Europe and Nordic countries where people love DIY products. We also have a range of textures that can meet the requirements of every kind of customer,” concludes Singhal.
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti