If you ask owner Dan Verhil about the celebration, he is excited for the milestone, but is planning on many more years of The Cottage Bar being a staple of the Grand Rapids food scene.
We were connected with Dan through Local First West Michigan, a non-profit organization that exists to build a local economy driven by locally owned businesses. They had interest in featuring long-standing locally owned businesses and asked us to create an image that they could feature.
After contacting Dan, sitting down with him and asking a few questions about his business, it became clear that his passion is serving both new and long standing customers. Local First wanted to have a photo that could show him "serving food, beer and interacting with guests."
With our creative thinking caps on, we pitched the idea of having Dan in multiple scenes of a single photograph. It would represent his journey of being with guests for many, many years (between his father and him, it's been a part of the family for 50 of the 90 years).
Dan liked the idea and I asked a couple of people to come help me with the actual shoot. First was Kaila Parent, a Grand Rapids designer who was to stitch photos together and make the final image look wonderful. Second was Shannon Oliver, a friend who loves documenting life on film, who I asked to come down and document the shoot.
Knowing the final photo would be somewhat of a panoramic shot of The Cottage Bar dining area, we ended up shooting 5 separate images for the 4 different scenes that were to be stitched together.
The final image, which Kaila did a great job with, was posted earlier this week and helps commemorate the 90th anniversary of The Cottage Bar.
The final image is below along with a short vlog that shows some of the behind the scenes from the photo shoot with myself, Kaila, Dan and Shannon.
Many thanks to those who were willing models and participants and don't forget, Dan said he'd buy you all a round of drinks next time you're at The Cottage Bar.
If you're looking for photography for your business, whether that is event or marketing related, be sure to reach out to us. We love working with clients who are in the early stages of thinking through "what can we do that will be most effective?".