The speakeasy is hidden no more. OZ Architecture is helping restaurant and hotel clients in cities like Denver and Nashville design these hard-to-find spots that are accessible to those “in the know.” Speakeasies offer an experience that guests continue to talk about long after they leave, as OZ director of brand experience design, Abbey Plonkey explains in this recent article from The Baltimore Sun.
Case in point: The Rabbit Hole, a single-table restaurant tucked away behind a bookcase and accessed through secret door, is the newest hidden hotspot in Nashville, envisioned by Chef RJ Cooper designed and branded by the OZ team. As Chef RJ Cooper explained to Food & Wine magazine, OZ is helping create these secret spaces to be “intriguing and controversial” and to provoke conversation.
“Speakeasies are fun because they’re often a throwback to the original Prohibition-area secret spots to get a drink, and because they’re not marketed in traditional ways – they usually don’t have a web site or a marketing campaign, so you have to hear about them through word-of-mouth,” said Plonkey, who is helping define the modern speakeasy through her work with various OZ clients.
She also explains that today’s speakeasies can be bars, restaurants, private dining rooms and other small, private spaces, but the most successful ones have a distinct brand identity and experience. “They key to success is creating a distinguished space that people want to share with their friends,” she says.