The bar in the background of the “Happy hour” composite I made in Photoshop using a couple of stock images.
If you would like to try this out for yourself, you can find all the links to the used resources in the text below.

The complete project looks like this:Bargirl_scr-1

After placing and manipulating all the resources the empty bar looks like this:
bar_bg_empty

A wall of bottles is a paid stockimage and can be found here: 123rf I copied the image and flipped it horizontal to fill the whole wall. The part in the middle will be covered by the model, so it doen’t matter that it won’t fit completely.

Resources

The next couple of resources are alle great and free resources.

The lensflare can be found here: PSDBox

A cocktail neon sign came from a public domain image that can be found here: PublicDomainPictures.

And the bar can be found on CGtextures. Also the wooden texture used for the bar can be found on CGtextures and also the front of the bar is found on this great resource.

The two neon signs are scaled, placed with screen blending mode and masked out parts I didn’t wanted to use.
On the wood for the top of the bar I did a perspective transform (Edit/Transform/Perspective) to give it depth and with a curves adjustement layer placed in multiply blending mode I darkened the edges. With a gradient mask I masked out the end of the bar. The reflection was a layer copy of the wall with the neon signs flipped vertically on a very low opacity.

Adding smoke and light

Adding smoke and light really creates the right atmosphere I was looking for.
bar_bg_empty_smokeyThe smoke is added by creating a new layer, set the colors to default back and white (CTRL+D of CMD+D on a mac) then go to filters/render/clouds.
The whole layer will be filled with clouds.

clouds1

Now select the rectangular marquee tool and pick a small part of the layer as a selection and copy your selection on a new layer by pressing CTR+J of CMD+J on a mac. You can now delete the rendered clouds layer so that you are left with only the small copied part.
Now resize this small part of the clouds to fit the complete image so that you have a zoomed in version of part of the rendered clouds.

clouds2Now adjust the blending mode of this layer to screen and place a black layer mask on the layer to hide all of it and paint with a soft large white brush set to 10% opacity on the places where you want to let smoke appear.
I did this render clouds process two times to create some depth by combining two different smoke layers.

Add some light on/in the smoke by creating a new layer on top of the smoke layers and set this layer to overlay blending mode and paint with a soft large white brush on the places where you want to have some more backlight.

For the last part place a cutout model on top of the bar. and some final touches, color grading, etc.