Chez Jay Case Study

The Client

Goals

“Show peep, bo peep, pier peep, beach peep…”

 

Chez Jay has been sitting pretty on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica for sixty years, an impeccable feat for any restaurant in the ever changing food and beverage industry. The establishment’s legacy is ripe with tales of celebrity gossip. It’s been a place of romance; Michelle Pfeiffer met her husband at the bar before she began her acting career. It’s even said that JFK and Marilyn Monroe schedule their rendezvous here, sparking the infamous ‘no pictures’ rule that is still upheld to this day. It’s been a place of drama; actors Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty and Lee Marvin were regulars. It’s also been a place of politics, serving as a safe haven and neutral ground for politicians of dueling parties. With a vibe that’s classy, divey, with a touch of Hollywood glamour, Chez Jay is an all around favorite of seasoned locals and curious newcomers alike. You can always expect friendly faces, delicious food, and all around good vibes.

Chez Jay’s atmosphere isn’t the only thing out of this world; their complimentary peanuts are famous for going to the moon! One of Chez Jay’s peanuts went to the moon with Alan Shepard and became the first “astro-nut.” It’s still around too, residing in the family safe.

When Chez Jay was named a Santa Monica Historical Landmark in 2012, owner Michael Anderson set out to add to the legacy by building an outdoor dining area, which would be a completely separate entity. This project came with it’s fair share of trouble, but with much persistence and passion, and help from his General Manager and son Chris, The Backyard at Chez Jay opened in August 2019.

After moving to Santa Monica from the east coast, our Chief Creative Sara became a regular at Chez Jay; she still attributes her smooth transition into west coast life to the Chez Jay crew for always making her feel welcome. Being inspired by the rich history and impeccable people, Sara worked with the team on a rebrand that would be a true homage to the classic Chez Jay.

US

Solutions

 

Our goal was to update an iconic brand while staying true to what’s made it such a legacy. Chez Jay’s brand story is one of hospitality and authenticity, so we used elements from all of the original assets that were hand drawn and created in 1959 for inspiration.

We gave the website a refresh, incorporating the rope design from the original branding with an updated twist. The old-school design is also reflected on the menu and business cards; the elephant is a shout out to the ever-famous “astro-nut”! With this rebrand, simplicity and elegance were key, but for a glamorous effect fit for a movie star we printed the new business cards on Moo Luxe. We branded Chez Jay in order to stay true to the motto, “where all good peep meet to eat and drink!

The Results
Original Menus hand drawn in 1959 provided inspiration for the rope details and logo and iconic images.
Original Menus hand drawn in 1959 provided inspiration for the rope details and logo and iconic images.
Deep Sea Lovers Card: Historic business card #1 provided inspiration.
Historic business card #2 provided inspiration.
The Backyard at Chez Jay Menu Design
Business Cards printed on Moo Luxe Stock
Business Cards printed on Moo Luxe Stock
Chez Jay in 1959 with Jay Fiondella, the original owner and Hollywood icon that The Most Interesting Man in the World character was based on