Handmade and built to order, the Tambour bar was designed by Aaron Poritz, who runs his five-year-old design studio out of the Navy Yard in Brooklyn, N.Y. Poritz, a former architect, is inspired by the kind of minimalism practiced by Bauhaus designers such as Marcel Breuer. The tambour-style doors, a trademark, are made of thin slats of walnut veneer that slide around the perimeter of the 50-inch-wide, 150-pound bar and open to reveal four sections for bottles and stemware, three drawers, and a sliding tray for mixing, with additional shelving below.
At $18,500, the Tambour bar approaches the top end of custom cabinetry. The 72-inch-tall, $31,000 Convivium storage unit from B&B Italia is larger and more multifunctional while sporting orange leather-lined shelves supplied by Hermès. Off-the-rack home bars vary. Bernhardt’s $2,900 Criteria bar cabinet has extra room hidden inside the doors. The free-standing Corridor bar by BDI, which has stylish louvered doors, is $2,400, while the $5,000 Paxton Mixologist Box from Ralph Lauren comes with burl wood and leather interior.
The sliding doors run fluidly along the precisely cut track, recalling the feel of a roll-top desk but without the drawbacks of delicate vintage. Tucked behind the doors is a top shelf measured to hold bourbon, vodka, and liqueurs; the bottom shelf stores glassware. Beneath the drawers is a breadboard, reached through an ingenious push-latch mechanism, big enough to hold all your ingredients, whether you’re making a simple gin and tonic or a Sazerac, Poritz’s drink of choice. The piece takes 12 to 16 weeks to complete.