Fiddletree: Sip and sit awhile

Hotel restaurants have come a long way. Instead of being the only option for weary travelers, they have become a destination for hotel guests and locals. Newer hospitality ventures focus on strong design, accessibility, comfort, and the local community. And the restaurants’ names are separate from the hotels that house them. The name often has a connection to the location whether it is the culture, the history, or the tone they want to set.

Fiddletree Kitchen & Bar is not your typical hotel restaurant. Located in the new Elwood Hotel & Suites, it’s a bright, airy space that doubles as the lobby and greets guests as they check-in and settle in for a bourbon cocktail at the bar. It’s a gathering place for guests and locals alike to dine, listen to live music, and support local organizations through a giveback program called The Elwood Social Club. And, the food is good too.

When the founders approached us about naming the hotel, they knew the restaurant needed a separate name that felt unique. Like the hotel, they wanted to nod to the region without adding to the list of clichés. We learned that the tulip poplar, the state tree, goes by another name: the fiddletree. Not only does the name honor an integral piece of the region’s landscape, but it also references a popular Bluegrass instrument. It sets a whimsical, yet communal tone.

A table and chairs and a glass of whiskey

We created a visual identity to complement Elwood but can stand alone to signal a desirable destination. Once again, avoiding the state’s traditional symbols, we relied on the landscape, the culture, and the people for inspiration. Fiddletree’s earthy, vibrant tones complement the hotel’s warm and inviting ones, and the monogram hints at the region’s musical background.

Fiddletree menu and an illustration that says, "start with a coffee. End with a bourbon"

Fiddletree matchbook over an image of the restaurant