Bar Stillwell

Crafting an exquisite carousel.

A group of three young friends who spent much of their late twenties enjoying life in cities all over the globe, landed in Nova Scotia with a desire to bring their love of craft beer to the region. Their vision of blending the nostalgia and mystery of a gritty, old-school amusement carnival with a contemporary, urban bar experience was a delightful challenge.

The bar’s name echoed the Coney Island subway stop along the N-Q-F-D train lines. The park’s iconic Parachute Jump tower supplied graphic inspiration for the identity.

Material metaphors emerged throughout the design. The steel cage of a midway ride formed the frame to the kitchen and DJ booth. Red sugar glaze from candy apples became tabletops. Carnie photos and graffiti appeared on the walls of the mini pinball arcade.

The moody and raw atmosphere of the new bar was embraced across demographic lines. The bar took off rapidly, filling nightly with both suits and T-shirts.

Within two years, Stillwell opened its second location as an outdoor beer garden – the first of its kind in the city – and its small batch brewing facility where they hone their own barrel-aged recipes. Today, Stillwell continues as the nerve centre of the craft beer experience in the region.

Canada’s Top 15 Bars Air Canada EnRoute Magazine, 2014
Logo + Environmental Graphics (Finalist) Canadian Regional Design Awards, 2014

Really enjoyed working with Peter and the Breakhouse team in putting together Stillwell and Arabella Park. Part therapists, part design gurus and part technical wizards, the team knew just when to step back and let our ideas form, and when to step in to rein it all in.

Social media photos courtesy of @barstillwell

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