In Spain: The World’s First MINI Cooper Lounge

If you’ve ever been to the Harley Café in NYC you know how the two-wheeled American ironhorse works as décor. They hang ’em from the ceiling. The signature black and orange colors are everywhere. There’s even roadkill on the menu; a goofy thematic way of naming American bistro standards like grilled chicken sandwiches. So…it should come as no surprise that the lifestyle element is applied to the automobile that best exemplifies it.

As of December 14th, 2005 MINI Cooper fans will be able to experience the MINI lifestyle in the capital of Spain. The name of Madrid’s newest “It Spot” is Paseo de la Castellana, 123. Here you can drink MINI-themed cocktails, sample MINI-themed cuisine and even dance on a MINI-themed dance floor anytime between 8am and 4am. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of Spanish specialties which vary throughout the day to accommodate the span of their serving hours.

Now, the question is: is this MINI Marketing on a grassroots level, designed and built from the ground up to attract the uninitiated to the MINI lifestyle…or is it a reflection of a pop-culture lifestyle that already exists and cries out to be accommodated?

Either way, a Spanish MINI Cooper dealer submitted his business plan to BMW AG/MINI Brand Management in Munich and he received the green light on a license agreement. The business plan stressed the MINI LOUNGE strategy would showcase neither MINI cars nor any of its accessories. It is left to the lounge’s chic and cosmopolitan atmosphere to convey the brand’s image.

Like the Harley Café, the architecture throughout the lounge also reflects the MINI motif, using the recognizable MINI design, as well as the typical MINI color black as sources of inspiration. The Italian cooperation partner Bisazza added further visual stimuli through the use of spectacular mosaics.

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