Stairway to Style

Design Bureaux turns down the volume on a rockin’ restaurant/bar at The Venetian to create a sophisticated new vibe.

The raucous Bourbon Room that was located on the casino floor in The Venetian in Las Vegas has been reborn as The Dorsey, a decidedly more urbane experience. Overseeing the space’s makeover from a pump-up-the-volume environment based on the “Rock of Ages” musical that formerly played at the resort—including a catwalk for song-and-dance numbers by the staff—into a more subdued and sophisticated cocktail-centric environment was New York-based Design Bureaux.

“We wanted to create a memorable experience for worldly, curious and engaged patrons,” says Thomas Schlesser, design principal, Design Bureaux. To help achieve that upscale appeal, the designers fashioned several multi-textured zones within the 4,500-sq.-ft. space.

That approach starts just inside the bar’s arched entry, which is home to a freestanding, bottle-shaped brass framework that houses a sofa-in-the-round that caters to the “see-and-be seen” crowd. Beyond that, patrons ascend a marble stairway to the main lounge, where a set of arches echoing those at the entrance define a series of subspaces containing tufted, belted and quilted seating and demarcated with large-scale chandeliers. The adjoining bar is clad with marble and leather upholstery, with a series of mirrored panels at its sides, back and overhead that conjure what Schlesser describes as a “perspective-enhancing infinity space.”

Nestled in the far reaches of the space is a library lounge that’s outfitted with book-filled mahogany shelves and amber globe lighting suspended from brass chains. This space is anchored by a 10-ft.-long fireplace, while overhead is a dropped, octagonal-framed oak ceiling that Schlesser says helps lend a human scale to the room, while also concealing its eye-catching up-lighting.

“The Dorsey is simultaneously dramatic and intimate, thanks to an interplay of sophisticated spatial gestures and furnishings,” says Schlesser. Given that—no surprise—the catwalks are gone.