Bergman Design House launches Bagheera, Vancouver’s Hottest New Speakeasy

The luxury design studio’s latest project is a hidden bar, Bagheera, in Vancouver’s Chinatown, following the success of its alter ego, Laowai in Canada.

Bergman Design House, the luxury design studio put together by the dynamic duo Albin Berglund and Marie Soliman, is proud to unveil its newest speakeasy project in Vancouver, Bagheera. This luxury tasting venue, which opened on January 10, 2023, is in the heart of the city’s vibrant Chinatown and serves experimental cocktails, small bites and plates to share in a train car. that brings customers on time, on time with strollers.

Drawing inspiration from the cultural crossroads of co-owners Lewis Hart and Brij Rathi, both of whom have deep roots in India, Bagheera pays tribute to the spirit of adventure of the Indian subcontinent as it enters the th -20 century.

Bergman Design House has an enviable portfolio of international projects and is the trusted partner of Bagheera’s parent group, Acceptance of the Three Kingdomssince launching Laowai, Vancouver’s sister establishment and “Canada’s best new bar”, in 2021. So it’s only natural that the duo bring their magic touch to the group’s newest opening.

Bagheera is undoubtedly one of our most exciting projects to date, commented Marie Soliman, co-founder of Bergman. Working on specifications centered around the namesake of the majestic black panther from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, the project is decidedly sexy, feline, and exudes luxury and excess. “.

Think less of a neighborhood bar, more of a total theater experience, added co-founder Albin Berglund. It’s no secret that Bergman likes to bring maximalism and opulence (or what we call “organized chaos”!) to our work, and this gem in the heart of Vancouver is perhaps the most true to our signature style we’ve ever achieved.. »


The experience begins the moment patrons enter the betting room at the Happy Valley Turf Club at 518 Main Street. Once they say the magic password and bet on “King Louie”, they enter a hallway lined with original postcards from India in the late 1800s and early 1900s, before entering the clandestine bar itself – a true ‘gateway to India’.

There they will be greeted by a luxurious sixty-seat cocktail lounge in gold, deep red, teal and imperial purple. “We used a rich mix of fabrics and accessories to give the space a truly inviting feel,” says Soliman. Think rich velvets combined with dark hardwoods and rich gold details. The main space is inspired by the majestic train carriages of the era and sparkles with more than 1,000 antique coins and bracelets that we found in the markets of Delhi and Jaipur, with help from Rosie Dahlia , a jewelry brand in house based in Delhi. The effect is quite stunning.

The star of the show is undoubtedly the 13-metre bar clad in a hand-carved reclaimed teak facade with a bright bar top and a polished tiger blue onyx backsplash. An 18-meter-long, hand-painted, custom-made jungle mural covers the entire north wall, opposite the bar, and leads to the semi-private Drawing Room. Here you can find truly bohemian bronze and brass objects, housed in a dark ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, which also houses some of the bar’s rarest whiskies. Cheeky overpaintings by internationally acclaimed ‘hacker’ artist Blase playfully infuse modern commercialism into old gothic-like canvases.

The experience

Behind the bar, operating partner Alex Black (Laowai, Wildebeest) oversees a program of era-inspired cocktails named after Kipling’s works, featuring unexpected ingredients like saffron-infused gin ( Man’s Red Flower) , smoked paprika (All One Vine) and cinnamon tincture (The Anvil). A separate gin and tonic section offers classic, savory, tropical, and Bon Vivant.

The subcontinental cuisine of Phong Vo (Laowai) offers a pakora menu with a variety of meat, seafood, vegetarian and vegan fillings, as well as a selection of sharing plates such as Carrot Daal, Saag Aloo Pave, Goan Tamarind Fish Curry and Coconut Lamb Koftas.

Co-founded in 2017 by Marie Soliman and Albin Berglund, Bergman Design House is internationally regarded as a leading creative player in the design sector. With over 25 years of combined experience, Marie and Albin have created a luxury design studio specializing in the hospitality, commercial, residential and superyacht sectors.

Bergman Design House is a luxury design studio specializing in fine interior and architectural design for the hospitality, commercial, residential and superyacht sectors. Co-founded in 2017 by Marie Soliman and Albin Berglund, the company has built an enviable portfolio of international projects in some of the most exclusive addresses. Previous projects include BXR London, Hilton Hotel Brussels, Accor Pullman Hotel Paris and Engine Room London.

Andre Tirlet

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