1. Outfit it with tech
At The Mather, a senior living community in Evanston, Ill., staff installed an automatic wine dispenser that keeps wine bottles at the desired temperature and eliminates oxygen. Staff are given card access to run the dispenser, which, at the touch of a button, measures and pours the proper amount of wine for a taste, half glass or full glass.
2. Try dual functionality
When not in use, the bar at The Covington in Aliso Viejo, Calif., serves as a remedy for overcrowding in the dining room. “During holidays or special events, we use the tables for overflow and walk-ins to make sure we can accommodate everyone,” says Director of Dining Services Julie Porter.
The dining team at Fox Run Orchard Park in Orchard Park, N.Y., also plans to use its bar for other functions. With the bar open only three days a week, Director of Dining Services Mark Herle says his team is looking to knock down a wall in the space to create a more open layout and install a coffee and dessert bar residents can visit on the nights the boozy one is closed.
3. Diversify the menu
The Clare in Chicago went beyond alcohol in an effort to attract all members of the community. “We incorporated a small bites food menu and added an espresso machine to make it more appealing and offer an opportunity for non-drinkers to still enjoy the space,” says Director of Dining Services Francesco Tardio.
4. Mix up the entertainment
As a source of entertainment, Fox Run Orchard Park and The Covington installed a piano in their bar areas. They also host various themed events throughout the month, such as "Monday Night Football" viewing parties and themed happy hours.