Public Relations for Levy Restaurants (Paddlefish)

170,104,952 total media impressions driven from 190 media placements over
4 months.

Levy Restaurants closed the 20-year-old Fulton’s Crab House to launch the multimillion-dollar re-imagined Paddlefish at Disney Springs. How could we use PR to drive buzz and awareness of the extensive revamp, which involved a full renovation and a brand-new design, transforming the old 725-seat “vessel” into a modern yacht experience?



&Barr’s PR Team developed and executed a strategic multipart creative and proactive public relations program that drove awareness via core strategies, as follows:


Ahead of the Paddlefish grand opening, &Barr’s goal was to generate as much buzz and awareness as possible to set the stage for the “Premier Grand Opening” and make post-opening efforts run more smoothly, including the following:

Pitch news of the new restaurant concept:

  • The design, which was inspired by a modern yacht with its clean lines, crisp designs, refined woods and a sophisticated color palette of blues and grays. Unique design features include opening up the windows for an open-air feel, bar areas decorated with brass accents that resemble fish gills, third-floor open-air deck with dining and live music, and steam room, where diners can choose the ingredients they want in their seafood boil.
  • The completely redeveloped menu that showcases fresh seafood including Maine lobster, king and snow crab, and a selection of fresh fish including sea bass and salmon. Fan favorites and classic dishes from Fulton's Crab House, such as Lobster Corn Dogs and Crab Legs, will still be offered on the menu alongside new contemporary options such as Lobster Risotto and Jambalaya. The menu also features interactive dining experiences including tableside services like Lobster Guacamole and Branzino for Two.

Share the restaurant renderings with the press, when available.

Pitch the hiring announcement and play up the jobs creation angle.

Stay abreast of food trends and local news on which Paddlefish may be able to comment (e.g., restaurant growth at Disney Springs and the importance of maintaining our marine ecosystems through sustainable fishing).


The VIP/Media Premier Grand Opening Party

&Barr crafted and provided comprehensive event management for the VIP/Media Premier Grand Opening Party on February 3, 2017, ahead of the public grand opening, to introduce the restaurant to 300+ influential community leaders as well as journalists and influencers. As a part of this event, the &Barr team completed the following:

  • Researched, compiled and contacted a targeted list of local movers and shakers, journalists, bloggers and influencers to invite to the event.
  • Created/distributed invitations and RSVPs for the event guests.
  • On-site event coordination of attendees and media inquiries.
  • Served as brand ambassadors to introduce/conduct tours of the restaurant to key attendees and press.
  • Event recap/reporting – provided monitoring/tracking of all media coverage generated as a result of the event.

The &Barr team has been outstanding! I couldn’t be happier with the innovative strategy and execution they pulled together to ensure the new Paddlefish grand opening was a huge success!

Christina Santarelli - Director of Marketing, Levy World Limited Partnership

Key KPIs:

A public relations plan was developed to determine objectives for executing a successful opening campaign to support many different aspects of the new restaurant. Objectives in the Opening PR Plan included:

Create awareness for the newly renovated property, including its new amenities and features for individual guests and group events. First group event was the NFL Players Association, one day before the Pro-Bowl, held in Orlando this year.

Position Paddlefish as a top culinary choice for Walt Disney World guests and local Florida residents.

Drive attendance of media and industry personnel to the grand opening event.

Position the third-floor rooftop deck as an exclusive offering, featuring nightly live entertainment, unique small plate/beverage menu and panoramic views of the lake and springs as a reason for local Floridian residents to visit.

Compete aggressively with new/expanded Disney Springs restaurant offerings.

Position the restaurant as a top choice for hosting special events within the Central Florida area.


media placements
total media impressions
feature stories

in 4 months

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