branding, illustration, menu design & interior
One daiquiri, two daiquiri, three daiquiri, floor...
Palomar is a Cuban inspired cocktail bar in Portland, Oregon, owned by celebrated bartender and first generation Cuban-American, Ricky Gomez.
For me, Palomar was a labor of love, as I wasn't just hired to design the branding elements, I was hired to be the General Manager. I was a part of the puzzle from the placement of the first piece, helping Ricky to design the interior, flesh out the concept, create the cocktails, and even hire and train the staff.
photography by Jordan Hughes
When I first approached this project, Ricky and I visited Miami, where his parents first lived after leaving Cuba. We hopped from Cuban diner to Cuban dinner, drank our way through mojitos and daiquiris, and toured the city admiring its Art Deco architecture and color palette.
I was inspired by the energy of the city, and knew I wanted to replicate that in my design. I wanted the Palomar experience to be one that transported you to a far off place that felt nothing like Portland, and knew that the menu would play a significant role in accomplishing that goal.

early explorations of the Palomar logo

The menu is the only item that every single person that walks through the door touches, and as such, special care should be taken in its design and construction. We approached bookbinders, Grossenbacher Brothers, Inc. in Portland, about constructing the menu covers for us. We wanted something that felt like a book, with textured cloth binding and soft paper end sheets.
For the layout, I decided to draw inspiration from the Cuban diners of Miami, and mid-century cocktail menus. The result is a menu that manages to compile a lot of information onto a small page in a way that is easily navigable, while always keeping the reader engaged with something fun to read or look at.
The final product, the bar and the design, is fun, engaging, and beautiful love letter to Ricky's Cuban heritage
a variety of merchandise items add to the Palomar experience