A Novel Commercial Interior Concept – The Wasbar Launderette in Belgium is also a Bar!

4th September 2013

inside the Wasbar launderette in Belgium

This week we continue our look at inspiring retail interiors from around the world with this novel commercial interior design in Belgium – where the monotony of laundry is combined with the excitement of drinking and socialising in the Wasbar – a launderette which is also a bar!

a row of washing machines

Located in the Belgian city of Ghent,  the Wasbar presents a novel opportunity for recreation combined with practicality. Customers can drink while they wash their clothes or just come to drink and watch others do their laundry and gaze at the machines whirring round. The interior design is bright and fresh  – reminiscent of a continental kitchen – with pastel coloured tiles and painted wooden chairs infused with a hint of retro 1950’s chic. The Wasbar brand logo succinctly communicates the two aims of the bar – with a bottle opener and a clothes peg crossed in a pastiche of heraldic symbolism.

the Wasbar brand is painted on the wall

Every week the Wasbar hosts events with live bands and DJs to liven up the laundry sessions and at first thought this whole laundry/drinking concept seems like a brilliant idea – I remember my student days when I’d sit in the launderette, slumped on an uncomfortable plastic chair staring at the washing spinning round and round, desperately avoiding eye contact with the strange folk around me and willing it to hurry up! However, it does raise issues for people concerned about ‘airing their dirty laundry in public’ – surely you don’t want to bring along anything that is too dirty or smelly? and what if you drink too many beers and your oldest pair of grey pants falls out of your bag on the way to the bar? Perhaps the Wasbar  is best for the type of people who don’t get really dirty – maybe some folks will wash their clothes before bringing them to the bar, just for appearances. The interior design suggests a space for people who like to feel at home even when they’re not at home, but do alcohol and washing really mix? Keeping pairs of socks together is hard enough in your own home but imagine trying to do that after a few pints of Belgium’s finest. As with last week’s blog on the novel idea of a pop-up restaurant that only serves lone diners, are these original retail ideas good enough to be sustainable businesses? We’ll be interested to see if the Wasbar concept takes off…

exterior shot of the launderette

The window says: ‘washing drying ironing dry cleaning food drink hairdresser’


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