Movies and Mixed Drinks!

Earlier this month, for our Brews ‘N’ Views series we screened The Big Lebowski, which I think is one of the funniest movies of my generation, and on a whim we added a secret drink special on the White Russian, which turned out to be a big hit.

I mean, White Russian is a cocktail that almost no one ever orders, so on any regular night I’d be shocked to hear we’d sold any, but on this particular night, we sold 459. So what gives?

In The Big Lebowski, for those who haven’t seen it, the Caucasian cocktail is the drink of choice for our central character, The Dude.  Throughout the movie we see him mix and enjoy the beverage, and then, as one of the key plot points, one of the villains uses the drink as a vehicle to drug him, which leads us into one of the most memorable and ridiculous dream sequences imaginable.  Love it or hate it, you will definitely never forget that scene.

So when we marketed our revival of this 1990s classic, instead of just saying we were showing the movie, we emailed to invite our guests to “Knock back a White Russian with the Dude.”  And a lot of people did just that.Unknown

Seeing the incredible demand for an oddball drink special reminded us:

Mixed drinks, when consumed appropriately, can make the adult movie going experience more fun.  Who wouldn’t want to have a martini shaken but not stirred with James Bond or perhaps a mint julep with Daisy and Gatsby?  Not every movie we love is going to have an adult beverage tie in, but when they do, and we can offer it at SMG, that’s just a little touch of movie magic.

Next Thursday for $1 Classics, we are cooking up a special on a featured beer cocktail called the Arnold Palmer Shandy you can enjoy at Caddyshack.

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You can count on me to be on the lookout for the next great movie/cocktail combination to tickle your taste buds.

If you want to be in on the secret specials, sign up for our email newsletters at studiomoviegrill.com.

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SMG Wheaton Chef Castano Penn on SMG Chefs for Children

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SMG Chef Castano Penn initiated the SMG Chefs for Children program in April, 2013. 5% of the proceeds from Chefs for Children menu items are donated to nonprofits aiding families with special needs children.

Being a chef and feeding others isn’t just about food – for me, it’s also always been a way to nurture people. I can show someone I’m thinking about them by preparing their favorite dish, taking into account an allergy, or preparing a dish for someone who has recently been sick or stressed out.

This perspective is what spurred me to create the SMG Chefs for Children program. Chefs are creative and nurturing folks – what better way to combine the two than this program which allows our chefs to create their own specials all while helping kids in their own communities?

This program is personal to me. My five year old son is autistic. My wife and I are so fortunate that there has been so much more research done in this area and we are grateful for the programs that help our son reach his ultimate potential. Children deserve amazing opportunities and I thought this program could be my small way of saying, “You’re important, we care about you, and we’re going to do what we can to help!”

I’m thrilled that SMG home office was receptive to my idea and I am really happy with the energy with which this program has been greeted! I look forward to more charitable partnering in the future!