Jim O'Connor and I have worked several jobs together over the last two years. Both a great manager and honest businessman, O'Connor purchased the wine bar formerly known as Cuvee in Charlotte, NC, and began developing the concept for 7 Ten Bar and Lounge. Utilizing every inch of the 1,000sq.ft. space, 7 Ten uses modern design techniques and provides a naturally intimate atmosphere.

Upon entering the club, one immediately notices the beautiful glass fountain engraved with the 7 Ten logo. The fountain is lit from above with three Color Kinetics ColorCast® 14 units. The water and glass shimmer under any color of light the Color Kinetics ColorDial dictates. The color options give a different impression every time the regulars enter the bar. The longest wall, located on the right as one walks in, boasts four vertical columns, four panels high, of a plaster mold by Modular Art. This company makes 32"×32" modular 3D panels that can be seamlessly aligned both vertically and horizontally. The stream is aligned vertically 12' high in four columns spaced 7' on center. Between the plaster columns is a full brown curtain that both softens the underlying stonewall and frames the panels perfectly. Each panel is lit with two ColorCast 14 fixtures, washing the entire length of the 12' panel. The curtains on either side frame the light, keeping the focus on the panels.

The entrance wall is lined with two-way mirrors except at the two columns, which contain natural 2'×2' coves. Color Kinetics iColor® Cove QL fixtures vertically line the back of the coves. The coves are framed with fabric to create blocks of color. A dynamic visual display, these tall columns of light complement the backdrop of the city lights, visible through the two-way mirrors, while providing privacy to the clientele.

The bottle display is composed of a circular grid, horizontally presenting the liquor. The frosted plastic is lined with blue LED rope lights by Neo-Neon. The rich blue that can only be achieved with LEDs adds a nice centerpiece, bringing attention to the bar. The bar is lit with conventional can lighting to add stability to the lounge. Primarily known for using LEDs in my designs, I am careful not to overplay my hand. Conventional lighting is familiar and makes clients comfortable. Everyone likes to feel fashionable, but conventional lighting appeases even the most ornery bar crawler.

Jack Kelly is president of Eye Dialogue in Charlotte, NC. (www.eyedialogue.com)

Lighting Gear:

11 Color Kinetics ColorCast® 14
12 Color Kinetics iColor® Cove QL
Color Kinetics Color Dial
Neo-Neon Duraflex Blue Rope