P.J. Clarke’s


earned and social media placements



3ft x 4ft

traveling fabricated burger

Recreating History

Affectionately known as the “Cathedral of Saloons,” P.J. Clarke’s has been an institution for over a century. With three locations in New York City and another in Washington, D.C., the restaurant has built a reputation as an unpretentious and community-centric place to enjoy a burger, some oysters and a few lively spirits. Following its success in those markets, the brand announced that it would open a location in Philadelphia, resulting in a homecoming of sorts for owner Phil Scotti who was born and raised in the Philadelphia area.

In the spring of 2018, P.J. Clarke’s enlisted the help of long-time Philadelphia agency Brownstein Group (BG) to introduce the brand to Philadelphia and ignite the excitement of the restaurant’s impending opening.

Making a Giant Impact

The BG team planned and executed a series of unique, attention-grabbing events that celebrated the grand opening with both the media and the public. The first was an exclusive media preview event, inviting 30 of the region’s top food and lifestyle media and influencers.

To generate buzz in the community, a 3 ft high x 4 ft wide fabricated replica of the restaurant’s famed Cadillac burger traveled around town during the five days leading up to the restaurant’s grand opening – accompanied by a P.J. Clarke’s branded milk truck, a photo booth and P.J. Clarke’s employees handing out branded swag. To increase engagement around the burger and generate social buzz, a photo booth captured images of visitors and the burger/truck, which could be shared via text, email or social. A street team also distributed a customized pamphlet, which tells the restaurant’s history and features an illustrated map of P.J. Clarke’s within its Philadelphia neighborhood (designed by BG).

Finally, the night before the restaurant opened to the public, BG worked with the P.J. Clarke’s team to host a 200-person, invite-only party that featured a stilt walker, musical performances, an appearance by the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl trophy, and various other programming elements.


Keeping the Momentum Going

In the weeks leading up to the restaurant’s opening and in the months following, BG’s work resulted in nearly 200 earned media and social media placements and almost 5 million impressions.

The media preview event resulted in more than 20 social media posts, while the grand opening party generated photo galleries in three different media outlets. The traveling burger and photo booth activation resulted in over 400 photos and email addresses, most of which were added to P.J. Clarke’s mailing list.

While the grand opening campaign drove more than 50% of the coverage, media placements highlighting the saloon’s brand-new happy hour, brunch and Thanksgiving offerings drummed up additional buzz beyond the grand opening. BG also garnered valuable broadcast segments on 6abc, CBS3, Fox29 and PHL17 showcasing P.J. Clarke’s as an area leader in burgers, oysters and cocktails. In addition, the team continued to host reporters and influencers, with each visit garnering more and more social media attention and complementing BG’s earned outreach efforts.

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