GS&P Has an Urgent Plea for the New Owners of the Agency’s Favorite Crappy Bar

A San Francisco dive is being remodeled, but will history be lost?

Cathay House, the Chinese restaurant and bar next door to Goodby Silverstein & Partners, has been a staff favorite for 24 years. Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Headshot of David Griner

Making your way in the agency world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries sure can help a lot.

But for Goodby Silverstein & Partners staffers, a favorite neighborhood dive has closed, and staffers feel sure it just won’t be the same after the makeover its new owners have in mind.

So the agency has created a video appeal to the Cathay House’s newest proprietors in hopes of making an offer on some of the Chinese restaurant and bar’s more eccentric (and, within the agency at least, beloved) design elements.

“Culturally speaking, Cathay House was the beating heart of our agency,” says GS&P creative director Tristan Graham. “It felt wrong to stand by and do nothing while that heart gets ripped out and thrown in a trash truck. Which, to extend the metaphor, led us to raise the idea of a transplant.”

It’s not the most glowing portrayal of a frequent haunt, where staffers have been converging on Friday nights for 24 years, but then again, there’s often a world of difference—especially in Yelp ratings—between favorite bars and “best” bars.

“We’re hoping our new neighbors see the opportunity to earn a bit of free publicity for their exciting new restaurant by helping us re-create the old one,” Graham says. “All we really need is permission to go next door and take the dodgy old bar, a few of those wonky stools, the tubs of stale fortune cookies and a couple of the many outdated Tsingtao calendars. That would do it.”


The Fans. The Brands. Social Good. The Future of Sports. Don't miss the upcoming Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit and Upfronts, a live virtual experience on Nov. 16-19. Early-bird passes available until Oct. 26. Register now

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."