Posted by: ellenpayne2012 | April 17, 2013

Clyde Common tears up menu rules

The June 2008 article in Esquire starts out provocatively, “Hotel bars are sad places. The anodyne, Cheers-like décor, the conversation-crushing TVs, the grudging service, the uninspired drinks, make you wish you’d taken the red eye.”  And then this, “Clyde Common – in the Ace Hotel in the middle of downtown – breaks the mold.” When I read “Menus as Marketing Tools: Developing a Resort Hotel Restaurant Menu Typology,” by Mohammed Baiomy, et al., Journal of Tourism Restaurant Hospitality 2013, Vol. 2 ─ I couldn’t help but think of Clyde Common’s menu. This restaurant’s picture-less, simple, readable, engaging menu captures their unique offerings and Portland’s zeitgeist effortlessly. The restaurant’s branding was created by a hometown firm, Official Mfg. Co. and much of the marketing swims upstream against “best practices,” like putting photos on menus. Clyde Common, snuggled into the Ace Hotel, exemplifies tactical marketing ─ though probably not in the way the authors imagined. This hotel and restaurant put their own twist on the floor stands, bulletin boards, posters, tent cards and the menu clip ons proposed in the article. Descriptions do highlight organic local products, reflect a sense of place, and cater to the local provenance; like “Chicken, potato latkes, date purée, Catalonian chicories, wild mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns.” Sign me up! But Clyde Common bellies up to the bar in such a unique way, it’s hard to really compare. I guess we’re spoiled. Greetings from one of the hippest towns on earth!


  1. Thanks for embedding the links! Surely the Clyde Common menu design and inclusion of those delectable items creates its own statement — as part of the hippest town on earth.

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