Work August 7, 2018

If You Build it, They Will play — Carolina Watershed


Starting a restaurant from scratch is daunting. If you’re a seasoned contractor like Mac Hopper, constructing one with waterfalls, silo structures for kitchen and front of house, and a stage for live music is barely a challenge. In fact, he’s done something like that before. Hopper is the visionary and developer behind Memphis’ most popular backyard-style recreation spots and has been instrumental in creating this unique rustic-themed indoor-outdoor restaurant category.

Drawn to the unique silo concept based on his family’s farming heritage in Arkansas, Hopper set out to create another outdoor space, this time balancing outdoor and indoor dining options. For a man born with a hammer in his hand, the more foreign concept was the concept itself — the name, logo, menus, signage, and promotion. For that, he turned to inferno.

In our creative roles, we often assist companies with rebranding. But like Hopper, we’re always hungry for the opportunity to build something from the ground up. We started with a name exploration that resulted in “Carolina Watershed,” a nod to the venue’s East Carolina Street location and its most spectacular feature, the waterfalls.

For the logo, we focused on a friendly, folksy type treatment that communicates the restaurant and bar’s fun, laid-back, “shed” vibe. We incorporated the type into painted sign graphics throughout the structure. We used the website to tell the “Shed” story of a silo in the rough that is now a shining beacon for parched, hungry, and bored Memphians in search of something delightful and unexpected. The logo, typography, and messaging are also featured in the menu’s design.

With the creative baked, it was time to hand off to our public relations team, who secured media coverage for the restaurant’s grand opening in local outlets and built a fresh, high-energy social media presence.

If you haven’t been to Carolina Watershed, it’s time to discover South Main’s most popular backyard. It’s a place for everyone – an experience and an adventure – with delicious food and craft beers. The Shed also offers live music from Memphis Second Line Jazz Band every Sunday at 6 p.m., as well as themed brunches on the second Sunday of every month. Dogs and kids who play well with others are welcome. Sunscreen is encouraged.

Check out Carolina Watershed’s website, where you’ll find their logo and menu, as well as a few photos we’ve snapped along the way. There’s also plenty of changes coming. For example, Shed-lovers around Memphis soon will be able to access Watershed’s shuttle service to and from the restaurant. Stay tuned for further updates.