estudiotres was tasked with the complete rebranding of a popular yet unpolished taqueria in Chicago that had recently taken on investor/partners in order to expand their locations as well as their narrative. The restaurant, Cemitas Puebla, had a reputation in the city amongst hipster foodies and celebrity chefs. It was featured in Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and was a regular spot for famous chefs like Curtis Duffy.
"The unique design should fit right into to one of the hottest dining districts in Chicago while simultaneously paying homage to the restaurant’s roots."
Chicago Eater Magazine
The challenge was to take the restaurants marketing and gestalt into a cleaner less “dive” oriented space in which to attract the demographics of their new locations all while ensuring that the base clientele, the hipsters and foodies, approved so as to not bury the restaurant in vitriol reviews meant to discourage growth and success. The desire to be the only person who “knows about this place” was strong amongst the original customers.
Our solution was to put the owner, Tony Anteliz, out front. He was a bit of a known personality already and had a natural and approachable way of interacting with his customers. The idea was to give Tony the restaurant space and branding he would have already had if he had our experience and creative execution in the beginning. He was in charge, it was his vision that we just needed to create a linear narrative for and execute visually.
The result was a brand based on the history and culture of his hometown of Puebla, Mexico. We used hand drawn/painted black and white imagery along with subtle browns in order to create a modular branding system that we could mix an match depending on the media or campaign.
The restaurant was designed to be minimal yet narrative, with hand painted black and white murals on white walls and dark wood architectural features that led the customers through the space.