In 1917, the 18th Amendment in the United States Constitution was passed, which prohibited the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquids”. This began what is known as the Prohibition era of the 1920’s and early ‘30’s. During this period of time, people began to profit by using illegal taverns, popularly known as a ‘speakeasy’, to secretly sell alcohol to eager patrons.
Though we now live in the 21st century, where there are bars legally selling alcohol all across America, the idea of the speakeasy is still an exciting concept. Rich & Gardner has partnered with Gilded Club to bring the secretive and exclusive feel of speakeasies to Syracuse, New York.
Gilded Brand to Club
CEO of Gilded Club, Scott Friedberg, had an entrepreneurial mindset from a very young age. When Friedberg was in the seventh grade, he started a snowplow business along with several employees and reoccurring clients. They would wake up early in the frigid mornings in order to plow snow throughout his neighborhood, all the way until his senior year of high school. This was only the first successful business that Friedberg would have. Friedberg went to college to obtain an undergrad degree in finance. Not long after graduation, with the entrepreneurial bug still biting, he went on to pursue his next business idea, Gilded Social.
The company offered services of video production and website development to social media management and influence marketing, with marketing services making up 80% of the revenue. With the great success of Gilded Social, by 2018 Friedberg was able to partner with Rich Burns and Robb Bidwell to expand the brand to Gilded Club.
In 2019, co-owners Scott Friedberg, Rich Burns, and Robb Bidwell officially opened the doors of Gilded Club. The bar has taken on the concept of a modern-day speakeasy, located on 415 S. Clinton Street in Armory Square. The twist that this bar brings is similar to the secret bars from the 1920’s and early ‘30’s, but rather than whispering a secret word through a small slit in the door, you can instead pay $1 online to receive a code that can be used for up to a week to gain access.
Rich & Gardner’s design of Gilded Club
As this new business venture began, it was necessary for Gilded to partner with a company that they knew would bring their vision to life. With Rich & Gardner’s diverse range of successfully completed construction projects, they were the perfect partner to trust with this unique project.
According to co-owner of the bar, Robb Bidwell, they didn’t want the Gilded Club to be like every other bar around. Instead, to differentiate their bar, they opted for a sophisticated theme that’s quiet enough to have a conversation while enjoying classic cocktails like sidecars and gin rickeys, as well as the bar’s specialty drinks, and select wines and beers. The club also offers live music and boardgames for extra entertainment.
In order to create the illusion of a modern-day speakeasy, Rich and Gardner designed the outside of the club to seemingly blend into its surroundings, as if being hidden in plain sight. Once inside of Gilded Club, you are emersed into a black and white color scheme and a gold cocktail bar that can’t be missed. The club leans into the old-fashioned look with imitable structural design and 1920’s themed touches, including lighting that gives it the look and feel of the illicit, retro speakeasy.
Gilded Club provides the people of Syracuse with a different kind experience, and so far, it has been a great success.
The Gilded brand has no plans to stop at Gilded Social and Gilded Club. By 2030, Gilded plans to break into the collectible sports industry along with another longtime client of Gilded. They also hope to continue to expand the brand into other new niches, much like Richard Branson with the Virgin Brand
Rich & Gardner is proud to have completed this project with Gilded and hope to continue the partnership as the brand expands.