Prepare To Be Wowed By A Vending Machine That Isn’t A Vending Machine.

Culture |


"The centerpiece of the room is a vintage Coca-Cola vending machine, which is split vertically to swing open and reveal the entrance to Flask."

Imagine you see a sandwich shop called "The Press" on a casual street in Shanghai that piques your curiosity when you pass by. Something about it doesn't fit, and you're drawn to it. You get the sensation that there's something different in the aura of this sandwich shop, almost like there's something special in the space that's trying to be hidden. A classic Coca-Cola machine sits in a corner, somewhat alone and inconspicuous. You figure that you haven't had a Coke from a glass bottle in awhile, so you walk over to buy one. But as you try to put some coins in, you realize the Coke machine doesn't dispense Coke. At the press of a button, the front facing section of the machine sways open to reveal the entrance of a secret luxury speakeasy, and you are softly lured into the warm intimate space.

It's called "The Flask and The Press"and Alberto Caiola is the brainchild.

"Flask and The Press is an unconventional duo that upends the traditional speakeasy concept: an intimate contemporary lounge concealed behind the facade of a cheery, sandwich shop. Together, they’re a juxtaposition of light and dark, elegance and funkyness, personal and playful. " -Alberto Caiola

"Stepping into the tunnel between The Press and Flask, the visitor experiences an extreme contrast in environment."

"The fun, lighthearted feel, the bright colors and lighting—within a few steps, these elements segue into a mysterious space with warm, muted lighting and the murmurs of bar patrons to invite further curiosity."

"Elaborate displays of bottles of liquor, a blend of dark and dim, plus a motley crew of furniture pieces that hints at the evanescence of these establishments as they were in the past."

"Following the camouflage door, the patron is presented with more visual cues of the traditional speakeasy:"

"Continuing the play on eras and expectations, we integrated a number of contemporary intrusions throughout Flask. The first of these is a striking drop ceiling: an array of angular cubes cascading towards the entrance..."

"The rest of the space is designed to feel private and personal."

"On the far side of the venue, a large convex mirror reflects the entire bar back onto itself."

"The copper lighting arrangement in the inside of the drop ceiling diffuses subtle amber light from the overhead."


Aside from brilliant idea of the entrance, the interior design of this place is incredible. If you had discovered it completely by accident, would you walk in?

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