This Bar is a Desert Oasis (And a Design Dream) in Joshua Tree
If you’ve traveled through the desert in this summer’s record-breaking temperatures, you’ll know that stopping to cool off and refresh is an absolute necessity. Along Highway 62 through the famed California town of Joshua Tree, siblings Brit Epperson of Studio Plow and Barrett Karber of Grain Construction have designed an ideal refuge to do just that: pause, grab a drink, and relax in a laid-back setting of terracotta tiles, warm sandy hues, and inviting furniture.
Working for their friends on a tight budget, Plow and Grain (as they’re known) renovated a 1952 Spanish-style building on the roadside, re-staining it’s original facade and renovating the interiors to create Más o Menos — a tavern that serves coffee, natural wines, and craft cocktails depending on the customer’s mood or time of day, and offers community programming through bi-weekly pop-ups. Paying homage to the natural beauty of the location, the team’s approach to designing the small space included adding bathroom tile gradients based on the dramatic local sunrises and sunsets, clay-based materials for their durability, and pops of color through upholstery and artwork.
Many of the materials for the project were sourced from architectural salvage yards, while outside, low-cost Douglas fir was used to build a custom trellis and table bases for patrons to gather against the backdrop of the untamed landscape. This DIY-approach brought the founders and designers closer together, and is reflected in the bar’s casual atmosphere. “Throughout the journey of bringing Más o Menos to life, it became more than just a bar — it became an extension of the friend group. Each member poured their heart and soul into creating a space that felt like a hangout they would frequent themselves,” say Plow and Grain. As a true desert oasis, it’s the perfect spot for kicking back, spending time with friends, and making new ones, before continuing the journey.
PHOTOS BY LAUREN MOORE