A Los Angeles location can make it difficult for any business to stand out among the competition. As a new property trying to make it in LA, Lumière restaurant and bar in the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel, decided it was time for a bar refresh.
Lumière, a BevX winner for Single-Concept Hospitality, partnered with Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen to develop and implement a new beverage program. Keeping the diverse guest profile in mind was paramount, as well as adding a local flair. The menu launched at the end of July 2023, which immediately boosted cocktail sales 15%.
“To mark a place for us and to create an identity is very important. We’re a new property and we have very ritzy clientele who frequent us on a daily basis — some of them being big names in the movie and entertainment world,” says Andrew Noone, director of food and beverage at Lumière Brasserie and Bar.
To entice these guests, he says, “we needed to create something that was worthy to sit across all markets. I think we pretty much accomplished that across the board with the really cool touches and delivery methods of our cocktails and ingredients.”
Instagram Worthy Cocktails
The restaurant added a new “#BrunchDrinking” small but impactful selection of cocktails to the breakfast, brunch and lunch menus, increasing beverage sales before Happy Hour and dinner time. A savory, sun-dried-tomato-infused vodka makes the Bloody Mary a standout, and an in-house blend of California prickly pear puree, orange juice and guava mixes with prosecco for a uniquely local Mimosa offering.
Lumière created a standalone cocktail menu with unique hand drawn illustrations for dinner and late-night guests. Cocktails were designed to be easily executable, such as the “Apothecary Bottled Cocktails,” the Vesper and Smoky Old Fashioned. These bottled cocktails are pre-batched and held in the freezer to be crisp and cold and then poured at the table, creating an Instagramable presentation.
The company sources glass apothecary bottles from a scientific company to add a unique experience.
Other menu standouts include a tableside Martini service with a selection of “garni,” such as brilliant, beet-pickled cocktail onions, cornichons, peppadew pepper and castelvetrano olives — served with a metal pick for garnishing and nibbling. Servers mist the Martini in front of the guest with a lemon-peel and black pepper-infused blanco vermouth, adding a sensory element.
The French Spritz is the most popular cocktail on the menu. Featuring Grey Goose peach vodka with basil essence and St. Germain elderflower liqueur, it’s topped off with Champagne to deliver a mouth-watering experience. The bar’s Smokin Passion and Lux Espresso Martini are also quite popular among guests.
More Bougie Cocktails Soon to Come
The hotel cocktail revamp will continue next with Phase #2 at the Lobby Bar, which will feature more batched and bottled cocktails from the cocktail kitchen, with a focus on California ingredients and the era of glam.
“We go back in December for phase two and will implement some really cool cocktails for the lobby,” says Kathy Casey, president and CEO of Liquid Kitchen. “We’ll be introducing new glassware and everything will be glam and bougie, which is perfect for the local LA crowd. I think they’ll love these cocktails.”
It’s been interesting to see how sales patterns have evolved post introduction of the menu, Noone adds.
“Because of our location and the emphasis on recent years to lower alcohol consumption, we’ve struggled since we opened,” he notes. “But this is a reverse trend for us, and we have seen substantial increases in our liquor volumes. We can’t wait for the introduction of the Lobby Bar in December.”