Shh! Speakeasy

For our annual marketing campaign event promoted as a Speakeasy party, "Shh!" provides the ideal opportunity for A Divine Event to showcase itself in a fun setting without looking like a commercial. Signage at each food station touts "Raising the Bar" branding the event with a positive message. Instead of a typical buffet presentation, guests discovered a series of bars offering a fresh take on bar food. Using various alcohols for inspiration, the chef includes a secret ingredient in each menu item from soup sips to desserts.

And so the chanting begins...

"Tis here we pledge perpetual hate

To all that can intoxicate!"

Shh! Speakeasy. The invitation states that not everyone is invited to this exclusive gathering---only Atlanta's finest receive word. Partnering with The Tabernacle, a rambling, old Baptist Church, now-turned-music-venue, we hosted our annual promotional event celebrating "Raising the Bar". As a catering and décor company known for our food and presentation, we have always been cutting edge in both areas. Branding our name with "Raising the Bar" keeps this message clear. The trick was how to do it.

Inviting the top event planners, our most supportive clients, partnering vendors and wedding planners, we dressed to impress. In front of The Tabernacle on a breezy, cold March day, the chanting church ladies stop traffic creating a buzz among arriving guests. Past the picket line of do-gooders with their menacing signs, guests discover yet another hurdle---Jason, the doorman.

Through an iron gate, down a few trash-covered steps, the determined guests find what they have been seeking---a remote cellar door where an intimidating bouncer peeks through a small window to determine who is worthy to enter. But once inside, all is changed.

Flirty, sassy cigarette girls lead the way to the bar where a make-shift Still awaits with a little production of Bathtub Gin on the side. As if he just stepped off the loading dock of a 1920's Ice House, Mark, a.k.a. "Ice Pick", pours up the house special---a secret blend of Gin & Sin splashed over chipped ice. Behind him on stage, Daniel, the Moonshiner, gladly poses with guests eager for a fun photo op.

With the booze flowing, guests enjoy 20's inspired hand passed hors d'oeuvres while listening to the DJ and mingling with friends. Just as everyone settles in for a good time, a loud whistle blows and the unthinkable happens: "RAID!" In come the cops to round up the surprised party goers. Whisked away upstairs just in time by "tipped off" staff, guests avoid arrest while thinking the party is over.

But instead, on the main floor, they find Flappers in full swing in a swanky nightclub filled with glitter, glam, and gold. After several enthusiastic numbers, the dancers pull guests onto the checkered floor to really get this joint jumpin'.

Wrapped around the perimeter of this cavernous space running the entire length of the three walls, massive bars tuck cozily under the mezzanine level. From the two side bars, guests indulge in a variety of libations. But it is the grand, ornate bar against the middle back wall, that serves as a backdrop for our "Raising the Bar" buffet presentation.

Staged as bars using the real bar as a bar back, the three food stations offer different fare with a fresh twist on bar food. Choosing a hardy menu that might be served in a bar, we fortified each item with alcohol and then served it in the appropriate glassware associated with the paired alcohol.

By hanging black pipe & drape behind the bar, we created a clean look hiding all the clutter on the shelves. The horizontal pole across the top also serves as a great way to attach menu, décor and lighting behind each. Offering innovative food and décor with in a clever concept, "Raising the Bar" says it all.

Not only does the Guinness Stout Beer provide inspiration for the food, but for the décor as well with its stacks of wheat, harp logo and gold accents. Using black metal columns, we elevated the bar top. Behind it, the chef prepared each Pilsner glass and presented it to the guest. Along with displaying bottles of Guinness Stout Beer on the bar back to show what is "being offered", we also used the 6-pack container as a fork holder.

For this display, a shimmering metallic fabric covers the 8' table topped with white marble squares set within a custom frame. Glass cylinders filled with glowing, white water pearls atop LED lights, serve as risers for the silver bar top. Behind the bar, custom made light boxes illuminate the words MOON SHINE and serve as shelves to display more Mason Jars. Glitter on the sign, moon and stars makes them sparkle.

Offering Tequila Lime Shrimp and Northern Adobe Tamale with Esquites of Roasted Corn, Chili and cotija cheese Flanked by bars with mostly black and white décor, this Day of the Dead bar adds a splash of color. The skull-shaped Kah Tequila bottle sets the tone for this table. A black and white fabric creates a lively contrast to the serape-like fabric topping the 8' table. A metal shelf, mercury glass candlesticks, tissue paper flowers, more skulls and framed Day of the Dead posters just add to the fun.

In keeping with the concept of "Raising the Bar", even the desserts contributed to the theme. Three different desserts each paired with an appropriate brandy as an ingredient presents a yummy display served in Brandy Glasses from the pick-up bar.

In this very ornate setting, we used a black and white color scheme with gold accents to give the space some unity. Palms touched with gold placed by the lounge furniture help cozy the space giving it more of a 20's nightclub ambiance.

From the moment guests approached The tabernacle with the picketing church ladies out front to the Brandy Snifters on the dessert station, the Speakeasy theme with its association with alcohol reinforced the concept of "Raising the Bar". No amount of collateral or swag bag "tchotchkes" could have had a more positive impact on our advertising than the message sent home with each guest.

2015Tori HannaA