A wine bar cafe offers a distinct and contrasting experience when compared to a restaurant bar. The wine bar is an extension of our living room, offering the comforts of home away from home. The bartender and wait staff are our hosts, always happy to see us and eager to ensure their service is casual and non-intrusive. The TV is on in the background, the music is soft and low, acting as the warm up band for the guitarist setting up for the 9PM performance. We meet neighbors and friends there. We relax.
The visuals should support this environment – the board promoting the daily special, the menus and table tops, and certainly the branding. There’s no hard sale at a wine bar cafe. Customers are pre-sold. There should be no hint of corporate influence, no intrusion of mass produced promotional sports related materials, and certainly no danger of a spontaneous chorus of “Happy Birthday” from smiling, uniformed strangers.
Any collateral the customer encounters should convey that it may have just been hastily produced in the back room by an undiscovered artist with a marker and typewriter. Imagery should be light and artful, imperfect with a feel of impermanence.
This is no place for the staid and stodgy. No one need be impressed, nor attempt to impress. There are no trends here. The couple in the corner rode their bikes. The gentleman at the bar is debating the designated hitter with the young female bartender. The small group on the cushy furniture were surprised to find each other. Synchronicity is expected.
The brand of this wine bar cafe is informal yet subtly clever. The menu shell is illustrated with quick, painterly strokes, and was imprinted that afternoon on a desktop printer. The staff is dressed casually and all display the bar’s logo small on their varying colored polo shirts.
Laughter from the outdoor patio begins to waft inside. Patrons enjoying the patio glance at the creative menu while engaging in casual conversation with their friends. Wait staff come and go bringing trays of cheese, fruit, crackers, and other assorted delicacies.
The target market for this type establishment is upscale, yet approachable. Patrons for the most part are affluent and enjoy the casual atmosphere. They frequent the wine bar on a regular basis, sometimes weekly, and enjoy coming in to pick up their wine club selection of the month.
If you own a wine bar or are thinking of starting one, please contact us to discuss your branding options. We would be happy to provide an assortment of branding choices that will allow establishment to create a distinctive environment.
I love this blog, Dana! You’re my hero!
That’s high praise indeed coming from you. You made my day.
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