Years ago, in Sydney, Australia, the MINI Garage -- a dealership -- had a restaurant. Patrons dined in a decidedly upscale garage-ish atmosphere, while (then) brand new and artfully lit MINIs rested on plinths. The restaurant is no more, but the idea lives on, this time in Paris. Groupe Luderic, an events company, paid $1.5 million to renovate an area of the Grand Palais, a museum, in order to create the MINI Palais restaurant. Grand Palais. Mini Palais. Get it?
This is simply more lifestyle marketing which seeks to advertise to you while you actually enjoy yourself -- MINI is a client of Luderic. The restaurant is, though, very discreet about the MINI. There are no MINIs in the restaurant, and references to it don't go far beyond using MINI type in various places. Otherwise there are two Union Jacks, a few posters, and clocks that resemble MINI IP's. And a neon sign above the entrance that reads: MINI Palais. That's it.

Food is -- in keeping with the MINI ethos -- not cheap, but not crazy. However, there are not even any MINI themed items on it. We would have at least thought they could offer a Clubman sandwich. Now, who wants to open a Ford Edge restaurant on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon?

[Source: Ad Age]

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