We worked with owners Varun Kataria and Tyler Erickson, to help them reimagine the original concept, utilizing parts of its rich and eclectic history and building from that foundation to create something new and unexpected. We developed branding and collateral for three unique spaces, the main restaurant, the music venue, and the take-out kiosk next door. Each space needed to be distinctive, yet still fit into the larger concept. It was really like designing three brands in one.
The Turk’s Inn was founded in 1934 in Hayward, Wisconsin and operated for 80 years before closing its doors in 2014. Kataria and Erickson grew up going to the original supper club and were heartbroken about its closing. When the estate was auctioned off, they bought as much as they could including the original bar and bar stools, the roadside neon sign, and most of the photos, décor, and printed ephemera from the space. Once acquired, they decided to bring the restaurant to New York and relaunch it for a new generation of patrons.
Our approach was to embrace the maximalist nature of the project and build a set of brands that each felt like an entire world unto themselves. Rather than attempt to confine the brand to a rigid set of guidelines, we dispensed with uniformity and instead looked to design in a more thematic way so that each piece of design, from the visual identities to the matchbooks to the menus, would tell a piece of the larger story.
The Turk’s Inn
The main restaurant and dining room serves as the heart of the entire project. The space was built to recreate the atmosphere of the original location. We designed menus, napkins, postcards, matchbooks and other collateral that each drew inspiration from the original source material. Throughout, we looked to find new expressions for each piece so that it referenced history, but also felt contemporary.
We didn’t want to simply make a taxidermy version of the original restaurant, but rather create a living breathing concept in touch with its current place and time, and capable of evolution.
The magic they’ve captured in a bottle here is remarkable, and also heartwarming.
The Sultan Room
Adjacent to the dining room is a 200-person music venue and bar. While it does take some interior design cues from the main restaurant, The Sultan Room adds an entirely different dimension to the project. We developed a unique brand identity for the space including detailed geometric patterns, menus and bar collateral, and a flexible set of poster templates that can be used to promote a broad variety of shows and events.
The appeal of the newly-renovated Turk’s Inn, which has hosted concerts with Alicia Keys and has welcomed celebrities like Janelle Monae and Shia LaBeouf for dinner, is in its artistic stamp.
Next door to the restaurant, a small storefront serves as an extension of the kitchen, selling döner kebabs to-go for late night crowds. The space references vintage fast-food and Berlin döner stands more than it does the restaurant next door. In response, we created a brand that relates to Turk’s Inn but feels cleaner and more modern with its own share of quirks. This included a cohesive set of menus, signage, uniforms, and collateral.
I’m from Berlin and I think this Döner is extremely legit.
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The Turk's Inn