As the new year begins, let’s take a look back at some of the best retail projects of 2013. There were several great brick & mortars (and one bus) that launched in 2013…hopefully a sign of more great shops to come in 2014.
Todd Snyder X Champion: City Gym
Harry’s: The Corner Shop
Shinola: Detroit Store
Warby Parker: Class Trip
Monocle Café: London
Hospitality branding is my favorite thing. I once read that “Good design tells a story. It doesn’t have to have a beginning, middle and end, but some kind of narrative must exist. Some sense of time and place – context is everything. The best restaurants exemplify this, portraying the vision of their creators in each light fixture, each piece of flatware, each choice of seating.”
Deep, but very true. I would add branding and marketing collateral to the mix as well. It all must work together. Art of the Menu is a site by the folks at Under Consideration dedicated to showcasing the best in restaurant branding and identity design.
Bikes, pop-ups and craft cocktails seem to be all the rage these days. Two gents from London have combined all of these trends into one awesome concept…The Travelling Gin Co. The founders, Edward Godden and Joseph Lewis pop-up around London with their two-wheeler equipped with baskets full of lemons, limes, bitters and of course, gin. Serving up fresh G&Ts. Their gin-cycle is the perfect edition for any event, or you might just bump into them on your next stroll around Shoreditch.
Freehand, a new hostel brand, has opened its first location in Miami at the former Indian Creek Hotel. The concept is a partnership between the Sydel Group, the developer behind the Ace New York & Palm Springs properties and Yucaipa Companies. Created for a new generation of urban travelers, Freehand will incorporate innovative design, a local food and beverage experience, and a comfortable community atmosphere, all offered at an affordable price.
The interior design was done by Roman & Williams, who have done killer work for the Ace among other.
Sydel and Yucaipa have plans to open at least ten more locations within the next few years.
Flipping through the new issue of Monocle I came across an article about the newly opened Oyster Inn on Waiheke Island in New Zealand. Similar to Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk, the owners put thought into every element. I love places like this.
Inspired by the old world utilitarian ideal of making something that is “built to last,” Izola and Aesthetic Movement have curated a collection of whimsical objects with a masculine sense of antiquity.
Made with great care and attention to detail, this series of functional every day staples is designed to be the perfect gifts for men. The products include flasks, soaps, candles, laundry bags, bamboo toothbrushes, handkerchiefs, shoe brushes, shower rings, ceramics and shower curtains.
The Scottish are drinkers….but beer? Not so much, they’re known for the hard stuff.
since 2003, Edinburgh, Scotland based Innis & Gunn has been brewing oaked beers matured in Bourbon barrels. Discovered by accident when the founders, who originally set out to produce a Scotch whiskey with ale flavors, realized the previously discarded beer used to soak the barrels was like nothing they tasted before. The company has since expanded into a full range of beers.
Innis & Gunn received some criticism when they produced a beer with 18.2% alcohol volume, they responded by producing a line of beers with up to 55% alcohol volume…nice work lads.
Image from Flickr
Technically Fall has been here for a few weeks, but it hasn’t felt like it in NYC until this evening. The cardigan came out, which means fall cocktails are officially appropriate.
1.5 oz. Bourbon
.5 oz. maple syrup
.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
shake with ice in cocktail shaker.
Serve in cocktail glass
Unhappy with the available options, Taylor Huber and Brooks Reitz set out to create the perfect tonic, and thus, the perfect Gin & Tonic. Handcrafted in South Carolina (and named after the founders grandfather) Jack Rudy uses ingredients like lemongrass, orange peel and quinine. Add to your next cocktail for a proper kick.
Find recipes here
Started in 2009 by brother and sister Tyler and Kari Morris, Morris Kitchen is a hand crafted syrup company based in Brooklyn, NY. Their signature and original product, Ginger Syrup, makes a damn fine Dark & Stormy. The brand has since extended into a range of syrup offerings perfect for cooking and cocktails such as Lemon, Apple Cider and Rhubarb.
They hit the mark on every aspect…I see them expanding into other categories very soon.
See additional recipes here.
Dark & Stormy Cocktail
- 2 oz dark rum
- ½ oz Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup
- 1 oz lime
- 3 oz seltzer water
- Pour seltzer, syrup and lime over ice
- Stir and let drink settle
- Slowly add rum on top
- Serve over ice in a highball glass
- Garnish with a lime wheel
The Mason Jar is having a moment.
Developed in 1858 by Landis Mason as a food preservation device, The original Mason Jar was a marvel of home economics. It allowed people to easily preserve food and see what they stored thanks to the transparent manganese-bleached glass, which wasn’t common at the time.
Today, the Mason Jar is still being used for food storage, but they’re also being re-purposed in every way possible from a cocktail glass to a picture frame. Not only do they look cool, but they sell for about $2 a pop.