When one of Christchurch’s most successful hospitality groups wanted to reopen one of the city’s most iconic bars, they called on Strategy to bring it to life.
Fat Eddie’s was the city’s most popular jazz bar before the earthquakes, located in the heart of SOL Square. Damaged beyond repair by the quakes, the new owners knew Fat Eddie’s soul still lived on six years after the last drink was poured, so the decision was made to reopen it on the banks of the Avon River. The challenge here was to bring back to life a brand and identity which is very dear to the hearts of many Cantabrians. Getting this wrong would upset many. On top of this, Fat Eddie’s and his neighbours Kong and Original Sin would be the first to open their doors on the much anticipated new development on The Terrace… No pressure.
We knew people already loved Fat Eddie’s thanks to the memories they had of the previous bar. But at the old place, Eddie himself was a faceless man unknown to all. We wanted to change that and create a strong personality for Eddie so that the new punters felt as though they could get to know the man behind their favourite bar. We built up the persona of Eddie as a jazzman from New Orleans who’s a little bit crass and doesn’t mince words. Visually, we redrew the logo based on the iconic neon sign of the original bar, and built the rest of the visual identity with two key ingredients: a bold, ownable red and distinctive typography. Fat Eddie is back in town and he is loud and proud.
The new brand was accepted with open arms by the old and new Christchurch. Judging by the queues every weekend and the engagement online, people love the new bar and Fat Eddie’s personality. The bar and its identity have become the shining lights in Christchurch’s new hospitality scene.