East Hampton Restaurant Turns To Temporary Tattoos, Social Media For Promotion

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The stone carving of the Greek god Bacchus may be a permanent fixture above Rowdy Hall’s wooden fireplace, but these days the icon is taking on a more transient role.Also known as Dionysus, the god of grape harvesting and wine—among other things—could now be showing himself all around town in the form of temporary tattoos, thanks to a promotion launched by the East Hampton Village restaurant last week. The competition challenges customers to “get inked” with the Bacchus image and post a picture to Instagram @rowdyhalleh, using the hashtag #rowdyhall.

The restaurant is encouraging participants to take “creative, fun, wacky, or quirky” photos of their temporary tattoos, said Christy Cober, director of operations for Honest Man Restaurant, the umbrella company that owns Rowdy Hall, among other local restaurants.

“It’s just fun, really casual, easy and light-hearted,” she said of the competition. “And I feel like that’s what Instagram is.”

Ms. Cober said the idea for the competition came about after the company had ordered a few thousand temporary tattoos “because it was cheap and fun.”

“We’d just been handing them out to kids who came in to eat,” she said. “I’d been slowly forging my way into Instagram with the restaurant, because it’s become so popular and it’s an easy way to reach people.”

Bacchus’s connection to the restaurant comes directly from the inspiration behind the name of Rowdy Hall, said Ms. Cober. “The original Rowdy Hall, in the 19th century, was a boarding house for artists,” she said. “It was a place where artists lived, and they’d drink and have a good time, and it got nicknamed ‘Rowdy Hall.’ Bacchus is basically the god of drinking, so it makes sense,” she explained.

Winners will be chosen every Monday, according to Nicole Castillo, executive vice president of WordHampton Public Relations Inc., which helped spearhead the promotion.

“They’re really trying to generate an Instagram following,” said Ms. Castillo. “Instagram is about people being artsy, using filters, and we’re looking for that element in this. But it could also be something funny or quirky. We’re just trying to keep it loose.”

Prizes, said Ms. Cober, will vary from discounted meals, to free ice cream, or free beer. “Nothing too crazy, she said. “If people are enjoying it, and we’re giving away a pint or a baseball cap once a week, we’re happy to do it.”

The promotion is ongoing, she added, and does not have an expiration date. “We’re doing it indefinitely,” she said. “It might take on life slowly, which is fine. I think it’s just about having fun.”

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