Owner Matt Levine collaborated with designer Chien Dao, the architect behind The Crown, The Lion, MoMa Curator Loft, Jade Jagger Building and Levine's past restaurant, Sons of Essex, to design The Handy Liquor Bar. Dao sums up the design elements for The Handy Liquor Bar as "authentic NYC, classic SoHo, music influenced, restored and timeless." Dao's use of classic moldings, custom rosettes and trims shows his dedication to detail. Dao describes the furniture balance of custom marble table tops, persian rugs, victorian armchairs, plush leather couches and the chesterfield tufted banquets a "design for unpretentious luxury, sophistication and comfort." Along with classic Jazz memorabilia, vintage cocktail leather bound books, mix and match antique frames line the ceiling to contrast the auburn and burgandy color theme.

Many of the photos lining the mahagony wood walls are from the Summer of 1977 in New York City. They are authentic and original photos that appeared in a New York Music Magazine called "Rock Scene" from various acclaimed music photographers of the time. Most are by legendary New York City photographer, Bob Gruen, including candid portraits of Blondie, Michael Jackson, New York Dolls, and Patti Smith. Actor, author, and art enthusiast, Hill Harper purchased the entire archive all of the magazine issues and all 630 original photos that appeared in the magazine for four months in the summer of 1977. Many of the photos are from two legendary art and live music venues in New York City, Max's Kansas City (a favorite hangout for Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and The Ramones), and CBGB's.