Shelves beg a million questions. On bookshelves, for example, better to arrange by height and width, by category, or even alphabetical? And what about bar shelves? Designers of the most beautiful hand-milled bars often leave the view of the shelves behind the bar to the whims of the bartender.
At Agern, a 110-seat Scandinavian restaurant tucked away inside a new (and beautifully) renovated space inside Grand Central Terminal, the thoughtful arrangement of glasses and bottles on backlit bar shelves masters this design dilemma. Though the restaurant is completely internal, the stunning jewel-like design creates a rectangular light "window" with chevron-patterned glass panes behind the bar that opens up the space. The inviting array of artisan shapes and arty labels bring to mind a magical alchemist's shop. And while the general arrangement doesn't show a slavish devotion to height or width, it captivates precisely because the bottles are not uniform or mass-manufactured and the liquids inside them glow.
Also behind the bar are two of the most professional and friendly young bartenders working anywhere. Cheers to them! You can't help but admire how they work to maintain the view.