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Wheelhouse

18-Foot Art Installation

18-Foot Art Installation

#FridayFeed happy hour edition! This week’s restaurant branding review is Wheelhouse located in the Design District.

This week MJ is on vacation, so Kinsey and I are taking over! Wheelhouse is located off of Oak Lawn and Hi Line in the Design District.

Order Up!

Let’s dive straight into the drinks! I ordered a Sippin’ Time – Texas sweet tea vodka, mint, lemon and club soda that come in a tall glass. It was the perfect drink to order for a hot summer day. Kinsey ordered a Kickstarter – a bright green drink with mezcal, poblano pepper, lime, pineapple and cumin bitters. Fair warning, this drink is not for everyone. If you don’t like the combination of sweet and smoky flavors, then this drink probably isn’t for you. The menu is a bit pricey, but I guess that’s to be expected given the location.

Environmental Branding:

Wheelhouse has a great industrial interior complete with large doors that span along one side of the exterior and open up to the outdoor shared patio space with sister brand Sassetta. A huge 18-foot all white art installation of a falling man, located on their patio, is arguably their most distinct feature aside from their refreshing cocktails. You can spot this enormous installation driving along Oak Lawn. 

Score:

Overall, Wheelhouse is a great place to hangout and have a couple of drinks. Danny and Kinsey give it a solid A.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

The Biscuit Bar

Tatters Gonna Tate Neon

Tatters Gonna Tate Neon

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is The Biscuit Bar on Hillcrest near the SMU campus.

The Biscuit Bar has 1 other location in Plano and I’m guessing more on the way. They have a touchingly sad but inspirational story behind the concept. Go. Read. Grief to Gravy.

Order Up!

I was really excited to try The Biscuit Bar because I love southern food and I love biscuits. I didn’t have faith that the biscuit would handle like a bun so I went for the Bacon, Egg + Cheese with an extra egg and Tater Tots. Danny looked at the menu beforehand and he already knew he was getting the Hot Hot Chicken which is Nashville style hot chicken, dill pickles and house made ranch and Tots. Erin got the Monte Cristo minus the ham. It had a giant portion of smoked turkey, jack cheese on a french toast biscuit with strawberry jam and the sweet potato Tots. We all agreed that the biscuits were good. We weren’t super impressed with the rest though. When you name something HOT HOT Chicken – it should be smokin’ hot spicy – otherwise, just use one HOT, right? It was seasoned nicely but was not spicy. My Bacon Egg(s) and Cheese was just ok – did not love the cheese – I think it was a slice of American – could have used a sharp cheddar. I did save my top biscuit to try a side of sausage gravy and Strawberry preserves. The preserves were really good. Erin’s Monte Cristo kind of fell apart on the first bite so a little messy. All in all – the food was ok but unlike the awesome plating at Whistle Britches, the food was served in paper boats with tissue and plasticware which downgraded the presentation. I like the concept, I just think the biscuits are almost too small to make a “meal” sized “sandwich” but maybe too large to work like sliders. I think if you kept the biscuits a little smaller and served on a plate you could encourage ordering 2 or 3, kind of like tacos. More fun, more sales. Just my opinion.

Environmental Branding:

The interior is super cute. There’s a bar, nice indoor and outdoor patio seating, big yellow garage doors to separate the two. A cool Stubborn Soda drink machine with pull handles which is fun. You could tell immediately that there was a quality design shop behind this brand and shocker…Plan B Group gets the honors. You guys rock – Studio B is continuously proud to be sometimes confused with you! Luscious creamy egg-yolk yellow cabinetry details, super cute oversized black & white gingham check wallpaper, farm style tables, butcher block tables, ship lap plank walls and lots of great neon sayings on the walls. TATERS GONA TATE…that’s so clever!

Branding DNA:

Cute name, nice logo, great colors and brand assets. Custom printed cups – love all of that. Branding is spot on.

Digital Branding:

The Biscuit Bar does a great job at social media content. Both their Instagram and Facebook have beautiful food photography mixed with fun and family lifestyle imagery. Their website is easy to navigate and has a fun neon vertical scrolling banner at the top of their homepage. Overall, they have great digital branding!
–Danny

Score:

MJ and Danny give it an A for branding and generously, a B- for food.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

SkinnyFATS

SkinnyFATS

SkinnyFATS

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is SkinnyFATS in Uptown (Dallas).

Order Up!

They have 6 locations in Nevada, 1 in Dallas and one coming soon to Salt Lake City. Their tagline is Live Healthy, Live Happy and their primary brand icon is a happy face emoji which they have incorporated into custom paintings, drink cups, custom paper straws, tray liners, etc.

Per QSR Magazine article, the story is  “the consultant-turned-restaurateur chose to split the menu in two: the Healthy Side with 600 calories or less per item, and the Happy Side, which is more about taste than calorie counting. His chef consultants had health-food backgrounds, but with the location being in a very industrial area of Las Vegas, Slobusky knew the concept needed to serve both the working man and the indulgers, too.” The menu reminded me of the Larry North North/South concept where you could choose the healthy version of a menu item or you could get it “fattened” up a bit. In fact, each section of the menu is divided into a “healthy side” and a “happy side”. The menu is a great mix of foods and the menu items have great names. Offering both healthy and happy is a great cure for avoiding the “veto vote” when someone in the group just won’t buy in to going somewhere that has only healthy or only happy foods.

I was looking for the fattest thing I could find because butter and cheese makes me really happy. I stepped up to the counter service bar and ordered the Meltdown. Two 1/4 lb beef patties, cheddar, provolone, caramelized onions, tomato, spicy aioli on grilled sourdough bread that was so buttery and crispy. Got the truffle fries as the side. Danny ordered the Sweet Cheese Us with shaved steak, pepper marmalade, caramelized onions, pepper jack, portobello and cheddar sauce on a hoagie with sweet potato fries. The hoagie bun didn’t hold up past the first bite but it looked really tasty. Other fun menu names include the Cranburkey, Steakation, Cherry Popper, Yummus and pre Birds (deviled eggs – clever but I don’t like to think about my eggs turning into birds really). I want to go back and try the S’motherload breakfast with filet mignon, sausage, fajita pepper, potato & egg burrito, cajun cheddar sauce and pico. Sorry – I know I haven’t really talked about the healthy items on the menu – you can go find those later. They offer Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and lots of HOT stuff – love that.

Environmental Branding:

SkinnyFATS in Uptown (Dallas) was designed by LEBODESIGN. The decor elements in the Dallas location are primarily industrial with reclaimed wood and lots of steel coupled with live edge tables, giant edison bulbs, big TVs and as I mentioned before, custom paintings and artwork that are really crazy – kind of Salvador Dali-esque. Two items worth mentioning are the live edge table that looks like its drips to the floor (where did they get that???!!) and the giant TV inside of a space helmet  painted on a two story wall mural in the stairwell to the loft seating area that overlooks the main dining room. They clearly have a lot of fun with their environment design and maybe just maybe, they enjoy some form of mood enhancing drugs when they sit down to brainstorm ideas. Where the ideas come from or why doesn’t really matter, it’s part of the fun. It is a great example of an instagram brand!

Branding DNA:

Strategically speaking, the name SkinnyFATS is a good description for the brand. The logo isn’t anything earth shattering or genius, but it works for the brand. Their smiley face reminds me of the old Nirvana logo. In fact, they even have shirts and stickers that highlight this resemblance.

Digital Branding:

SkinnyFATS has a website that is both easy to navigate and user friendly. The G.O.T.M. (Guest Of The Month) highlights specially selected guests from one of their various locations and is a great way to give their guests more of voice. Their Instagram and Facebook focus heavily on their beautiful food photography and feature the Guest Of The Month. Overall, they have awesome digital branding that primarily focuses on their food and the customer.
–Danny

Score:

MJ and Danny give it an A.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Burnt Ends

Burnt Ends

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on Wycliff by the Tollway.

Order Up!

Danny and I were looking at our categories and realized we hadn’t reviewed any barbecue. Oddly, there are very few concepts that fall into the Fast Casual BBQ space but Dickey’s does! Dickey’s has 512 locations with 137 in Texas.

I love brisket but I also love pretty much everything barbecue. I was so happy when they added some unique sides to the menu a few years back. I always get the creamed spinach and I never pass up fried okra. This trip I was told they had a new item: BURNT ENDS! Get out! I got ‘em and they were delicious – see my photos. Danny ordered the jalapeño cheese sausage, the creamed spinach and fried okra. We’re SUPPOSE to get different things but he didn’t get the memo. We also decided to grab a piece of pecan pie but only so we could test how difficult this was going to be to unwrap and eat. As much as I love you, Dickey’s, please put this pie in a container or on a plate? Saran wrap is not working. I worked through it but it wasn’t pretty.

Environmental Branding:

The Wycliff location is the Corporate Testing and Training store so this is where all the cool stuff is. Also – there are always lots of corporate types in there training so the service is fantastic. The outside of this store is not impressive but walk inside and “instant cool.” Nice warm decor and furniture with lots of attention to the details, like little chunks of wood stacked up at the line. I have to assume this is Hickory wood since that’s what gives their BBQ its signature flavor. Great light fixtures and wall graphics. This location also has a secondary room that can be closed off with a big wooden slat sliding door – a great solution for the space that adds to the overall decor. They also have a large glass-front meat cooler behind the register that shows off big cuts of meats. I love this. I noticed on this visit, they are testing digital menu boards. They look great and have enough interactivity with rotating images but not too much that it’s distracting.

We asked one of the “corps” if he knew who designed the interior and graphics. He put us in touch with the Director of Communications, Ashley Richardson, who told us this: “we have an in-house design team that is responsible for all graphics on the Walls inside the Dickey’s stores.  Our partner, Stanford Sonoma, is responsible for all furnishings and fixtures.  Together, we think they create a great vibe to enjoy our authentic, Texas-style barbecue!” We agree Ashley.

Branding DNA:

Classic logo. Good name. Rich history and BEAUTIFUL, MOUTH WATERING photos of food. They also do a great job with their “brand language.” Example – they have a sandwich called the CUEBEN, love it. There are a few new copy lines in use that I like also – “SMOKED ON SITE” and “LEGIT. TEXAS. BARBECUE. There’s so much you can do with BBQ words and phrases, like PIT MASTERS, PIT CREWS, LOW & SLOW, IT’S NOT LEGIT WITHOUT THE PIT. That reminds me of a cool T-shirt I saw online that says “MY HUSBAND SMELLS LIKE BRISKET”. Love that.

We’re big on packaging so we want to give a shout out to the team who designed the take out bags – those are legit and we love all of the iconography. The BIG YELLOW cup, of course, is an icon of the brand and fans take selfies with the cup all over the world to show their love of the brand.

Digital Branding:

Dickey’s has a great website that is easy to navigate. When you first visit the site, you’re greeted with a big scrolling banner full of beautiful food photography with hints of marketing sprinkled in. Their Instagram and Facebook features mouthwatering food videos and imagery, great lifestyle photography, and just like their website hints of marketing. Overall, Dickey’s has amazing digital branding across the board!
–Danny

Score:

MJ and Danny give it an A.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Unleavened Fresh Kitchen

Farmstand Salad

Farmstand Salad

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Unleavened fresh kitchen at 75 and Walnut Hill in The Hill Shopping Center.

Order Up!

Unleavened Fresh Kitchen has 4 locations in Dallas. I have to start by saying I don’t love the name. It starts with “UN” and I don’t know that I have ever craved unleavened bread. It just doesn’t make me hungry. I know the name includes fresh kitchen but people don’t read so… (That’s not snark folks, I know people don’t read). The logo on the other hand, I really like. A nice fun script face in my favorite color, orange.

While I wasn’t really in the mood for something healthy, our office neighbor Erin, who reviews with us on occasion was really wanting to go there. She said all of her friends LOVE it. I believe it does skew toward the female crowd and I found out why all of Erin’s friends love it so much – free kids meals EVERY DAY after 4pm (dine in, with adult meal, 12 and under). I don’t have kids at home anymore so I don’t care about kids meals or people with kids, hahahaha – That is definitely snark – if you missed it.

Food:

The menu was not very large and it was definitely healthy. Wraps and Greens are the staples. I ordered the Farmstand “salad” and it was beautiful and tasty and very healthy. Danny ordered the Southwestern wrap in a spinach tortilla with a side of grilled sweet corn and a Superberry tea to top it off. They had a nice selection of fresh and colorful beverages and teas, including cold brew in the bubblers. They do have a morning menu which includes wraps or hash. Hash “anything” sounds good but they are across the street from Snooze a.m. Eatery so it wouldn’t get my vote in a draw. If you haven’t read our review of Snooze, go.

Environmental Branding:

The place was super cute – I loved the interior design. Very bright and modern and clean. Great chairs and varied seating. Designed by Mitchell Garman Architects, I discovered this design team is also responsible for Ascension, Twisted Root, and many others.

Branding DNA:

Great logo. Great colors. Great interior design. Really fresh, clean, healthy food with an UNcompromising commitment to fresh, creative salads and wraps. Naturally, they play off of the “UN” in the name to call out their uncommon goodliness. “Uncommon, untraditional, unexpected. This is our promise to you. Every meal. Every day.” This place is awesome if you are craving fresh healthy gluten-free foods including quinoa, farro, eggplant dip and hummus. Go! Enjoy! 

Digital Branding:

Unleavened has a refreshingly UNtraditional website that features an upward scrolling banner rather than the more traditional side to side. Their website is beautifully designed, but lacks in functionality. When you visit their website you only have two navigation options, our locations and view the menu. If you want to learn more about the brand you’re out of luck. There is a video, that you have to scroll a few times to get to,  that will give you a round-about idea on what to expect when you visit one of there locations, but doesn’t actually speak about the brand or their story. As for their social media, on their Instagram and Facebook accounts they blend enticing food photography with great lifestyle imagery.
–Danny

Score:

MJ gives it a B only because of the name. Danny gives it a B+ only because of their website downfalls.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

7-Eleven – Home of SLURPEES, Beer on Tap and Tacos?

7-Eleven Beer on Tap

7-Eleven Beer on Tap

Beverages are BIG everywhere! It used to be that your drink choices were soda and tea but with more and more people weaning off of sugar-filled, carbonated sodas, the beverage biz is exploding! In our weekly fast casual restaurant reviews #Friday Feed, we have the opportunity to see what’s trending. Flavored teas aren’t necessarily new but they’re definitely more common, fruity teas & lemonades (see watermelon ice tea from Twisted Root), juices, cold brew coffee, sparkling waters, and small batch craft sodas are all becoming big players.

Self-serve tap systems are definitely hot and because they’re pretty, they cross-function as experiential store design elements (see pics of Piada and Bellagreen). Clear bubblers are also becoming trendy again. There’s something about seeing the pretty colors all lined up that makes these beverages look extra refreshing (see pics from Modern Market, Subway and Unleavened).

We’re also seeing more concepts using reach in coolers to offer an even wider selection of bottled beverages, canned beers, juices, energy drinks, etc. (see Velvet Taco and Tacodeli). With the many delivery service providers (Uber Eats, Door Dash, Favor, GrubHub) delivering to homes and offices, bottled or canned drinks are preferred over fountain drinks in cups with ice, lids, straws, etc.

Now let’s talk about 7-Eleven and that Beer on Tap. I LOVED 7-Eleven when I was a kid. While the last 2-3 decades have not been good for this once amazing brand, they are working on a turnaround. They just opened a brand new 7-Eleven at Sylvan & I-30 near Oak Cliff. The signs say “A store like no other”. They are calling it the Sylvan | Thirty “lab” store where it will test new concepts, platforms and products. The store also includes a Laredo Taco brand inside. This store has a wine “room”, a build your own toppings bar for frozen treats, BEER ON TAP, grind & brew coffee machines, bulk snacks and candy. A bonus for a store design nerd like myself, they have LED strip lighting under every. single. shelf. to highlight the beautiful bags of candy and snacks.

Following Amazon Go, The “lab” store is also testing “Scan & Pay” – you grab the products you want, scan them with your phone’s camera and pay with CC, DC Apple or Google Pay. Now you’re free to skip the line, you just scan your QR code at the “confirmation station” (a little white acrylic box on the counter by the front door) and get on with your day. I’m going to try it this weekend for sure. Cool stuff 7-Eleven, I’m ready for your come-back!

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Burger Wars

Burger Wars Collage

Burger Wars Collage

BURGER WARS! We’ve reviewed 10 plus burger joints on #FridayFeed. One question remains, who has the best burger in Dallas? Leave us a comment below with your favorite.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Rex’s Seafood & Market

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Rex’s Seafood & Market on NW Hwy and Hillcrest in Dallas.

Order Up!

Rex’s has a super popular location at the Farmer’s Market and we heard they were opening a traditional location near Highland Park. Rex’s doesn’t really fit into a fast casual category – actually we don’t know any seafood concepts that do. You go from Long John Silvers (fast) to Joe’s Crab shack (casual) pretty much, right? But – we haven’t reviewed any seafood yet and figured it was close enough. AND, we heard that Coeval had done the design – more on them later – let’s talk food.

Upon entry, we were greeted by a server who offered us a look at the “market” case of fresh seafood, a seat at the bar or a table for two for lunch. We chose a nice booth along the wall where we had a good view of the open space. The menus were nicely designed and pretty – not a piece of paper on a clip board or busy laminated kind with cartoon photos of crabs and such. Colors are a deep ocean blue and butter yellow.

I love lobster bisque so I ordered a cup to start with and the parmesan crusted Tilapia with fried Brussel sprouts and cheesy grits for my entrée. Danny ordered the fried shrimp basket with fries and broccoli with a side of jalapeño ranch. The bisque was perfect. Creamy, velvety, yummy. The tilapia came with a lemon butter sauce on top and it was delicious. Fried Brussel sprouts  – yum. Cheesy grits – could have been cheesier. I love grits so I inquired about shrimp & grits which they said they have on the weekend brunch menu. They offer a nice selection of desserts and ice cream as well .:) They have daily specials and a sweet happy hour special M-F from 3-6 – Gulf Oysters $1 and Premium Oysters for $2 each and $2 off all draft beer and wine.

Environmental Branding:

Rex’s has a really nice neon script logo sign on a background of clean plank wood and a storefront of windows so the natural light is really nice. The overall interior design is really buttoned up. They chose a nice mix of materials and colors and have several unique design features. The nods to “seafood/ocean” were more like home decor than pier & bait shack – I didn’t see one galvanized bucket of crackers or a lifesaver or net and buoy – thank goodness! I’d call it refined casual – a great middle space between a crab shack and an Oceanaire – a neighborhood restaurant where you can get beautiful fresh seafood for lunch or dinner or pop in and have a cold draft or glass of wine while you have the market steam some clams for take out.

Since our reviews include interior design, we like to give credit to the designers. Coeval Studio is responsible for the design and have worked on so many great concepts – Whistle Britches, Liberty Burger, El Bolero, The Rustic, Happiest Hour…nice work!

Branding DNA:

Great logo, nice menus, pretty interior. The only thing missing was a view of the ocean.

Digital Branding:

Rex’s Seafood has a great website. Easy to navigate, parallax scrolling and user-friendly online ordering for pick-up. Their social media accounts feature great lifestyle photographs, mouthwatering food imagery and even some shout outs to their suppliers. Their supplier spotlight is brilliant! This shows customers that they put thought and care into where their ingredients come from.
–Danny

Score:

MJ and Danny give it an A.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Hopdoddy

Hopdoddy Neon

Hopdoddy Neon

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Hopdoddy in College Station, Texas, Whoop!

Order Up!

Hopdoddy is an Austin-born brand and has 35 locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas (22 TX locations). You enter to an order line which directs you to the counter where you can order from a menu of “burgers, sides, shakes & bar”. They tout handmade buns and handmade burgers in their in-house bakery and butchery – most of which have cool names like the Dubliner and the Buffalo Bill and maybe they’re a little “famous” for being one of the few places that has the Impossible Burger – a burger made entirely of plants. Photography and presentation both excellent. They also have a cause – the Goodnight/Good Cause burger for which they donate a $1 for every one purchased. They have raised more than 1 million dollars for local charities. That supports their culture message that they are “part of the neighborhood.” I like it.

This FridayFeed review was a road trip version. Danny didn’t make the trip, but I took 4 college kids with me for this Friday Feed so everyone ordered shakes, burgers and fries. The shakes had those “colossal” straws and looked pretty damn good. Sides menu is pretty simple – fries, fries and salad. I ordered the hand cut sweet potato fries which were good. All of the food was good but after Rodeo Goat, the burger bar is really high so I’d have to put the burger in third place behind the Goat and Liberty Burger.

Environmental Branding:

Hopdoddy (“hop” is for the beer and “doddy” is a Scottish term for cows) is a cool burger chain that doesn’t feel chain-like. I’ll start with the lighting and ambiance. Warm woods, perfect lighting, inviting atmosphere all around. There’s a bar in the middle of the space and seating around the perimeter. A mix of high booths and tables line the wall and There’s a nice upholstered banquette along the order line. Like many brands, they have an open kitchen where you can see people busy prepping orders. Not all open kitchens look that great, but this one looked clean and organized and the sounds and smells really added to the overall ambiance.

The downside to the seating was that we couldn’t all sit together. I was surprised that there wasn’t a community table – who doesn’t design a community table anymore? Maybe it was just this location. 9:30 pm dinner in a college town on a Friday night, this place was hoppin’.

Branding DNA:

The College Station Hopdoddy interior and exterior was designed by Levy from Austin. A google search indicates that Catie Lucey is responsible for a lot of Hopdoddy graphic design – posters and new menus. A disclaimer on her site indicates the logo was designed by a *previous designer.

Digital Branding:

Hopdoddy’s website is one of the better restaurant websites out there. It’s fairly easy to navigate and uses a great flexible grid layout that keeps things interesting. Their Instagram and Facebook do a good job at mixing marketing images and food photography together, but could use more lifestyle imagery like they have on their website. Lifestyle images are key because they let the customer know what type of atmosphere to expect when they visit one of your locations. Mouthwatering food porn will draw people in, but lifestyle photography will make them take action and visit your restaurant.
–Danny

Score:

MJ gives it an A. Danny gives it an A-.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

PORCH SWING

Porch Swing Restaurant

Porch Swing Restaurant

 

Come for the food. Stay for the music. PORCH SWING Restaurant opened to a full house Monday, February 18th in Mesquite, Texas across the street from Town East Mall. 

Porch Swing restaurant is a new concept by seasoned entrepreneur, Antonio Swad, best known for his concepts Wing Stop and Pizza Patron. Porch Swing offers a menu of southern classics – Fried Chicken, Chicken Fried Steak, Ribs, Fried Catfish, Pork Loin, Shrimp and a Grilled Meatloaf. The menu also includes homemade cheesy drop biscuits and a Pie Company baking and serving scratch made pies like Cookie Top Pecan, Buttermilk, Banana Cream and Toasted Coconut to name a few.

The design is a blend of contemporary and classic Southern touches with some unique features including double sided porch swings, a state of the art sound system and stage as well as the Pie Company store where customers can purchase a slice or whole pies in custom branded packaging. Porch Swing has a 3,000 sq. ft. covered patio with a massive fireplace, perfect for meeting with friends or watching a game. The LIVE music stage will host bands every Friday and Saturday night.

Porch Swing is gaining momentum in the press and with foodies from all around the DFW. They have been mentioned in Culturemap, Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality just to name a few.

Studio B acted as the design team on the project handling interior design, branding, custom packaging, photography and apparel. Truly the most fun project to work on EVER! Please go to our portfolio page and check out all of the photos!