Shotopop Shakes It Up at The Savoy Hotel
A great bar is like climbing into a different world. The design of the space, from the lighting (preferably dim), to the décor (preferably plush), to the drinks (preferably strong), sets a tone to escape the outside world – even if it’s just for the night. The Beaufort Bar at the Savoy is a bar like this, with art deco inspirations, golden booths, and masterfully made cocktails. But there was a piece missing in this masterpiece and they asked Shotopop to help them fill it in. They needed an impeccable menu, and tasked Shotopop with creating a bespoke book of their twenty signature cocktails. Shotopop took the request and ran, making an inspired piece that blends old school references with new school techniques. “The menu was visually inspired by old children’s tunnel story books like Alice in Wonderland,” Carin Standford, Co-Founder and Director at Shotopop explains. “There is a sense of mystery as you page and reveal more of the narrative that is peeping through the tunnel.” Mixed into that presentation is a reflection of the bar’s Art Deco gilded décor, theatre of the space, blended with the movement of mixing a drink. It’s all poured together to create something special that pops off the page.
More than that, it’s steeped with history. “The menu takes patrons on a tour of the hotel through its legendary tales and extraordinary guests,” Standford explains. “From secret wartime speakeasies, rooftop tap-dancing and extravagant gondola parties to luminaries such as Fred Astaire, Alfred Hitchcock, Katherine Hepburn and Tom Jones.” Each cocktail gets its own two-page spread, making for a book that’s chock full of references and stories, if only you have the curiosity and gumption to investigate them.
As the pages of the menu turn, cut outs shift, grow, and contract, windows opening and closing as they go. It’s a beautiful experience to thumb through, but it’s a logistical challenge. Each design of each page had to be constructed around these very real changes in canvas, every spread unique. It’s a challenge, but one Shotopop was able to master with a little bit of foresight. “With a project like this, it takes a bit of planning in terms of mapping out how the die-cuts will work, which is something you have to do at the start and keep reassessing as you go to make sure that things are still working as expected,” Standford explains. It’s all about keeping creatively agile until the final project presents itself.
By adding this kind of treatment to the bar’s menus, the team at Shotopop has created portable works of art. They’re beautiful to see, but it’s possible some customers might like them a little too much. But that’s okay. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a few ‘went missing,’” Standford says about the possibility of the menus walking out the front door. “The bar actually likes the idea of clients being able to take away a keep sake, so we have developed coasters that reflect the menu that people can take home with them and we’re in talks for a few other keep sakes that people will be able to purchase later in the year, so stay tuned for that.”
We’ll just have another cocktail while we wait.