It’s no secret that travel geeks are ALLLL about airport lounges. Getting to experience a lounge you’ve never visited before is, for them, a big deal and part and parcel of the entire travel experience.
Over the past few years, travelers have seen that Polaris Lounges, Admirals Clubs, SkyClubs, etc. haven’t been the only lounges at airports. Some airports have also gotten “pop-up” lounges.
Pop-ups have been going on since the late 1990s or so. They started in the retail industry, as short-term sales spaces that last for days to weeks before closing down. Spirit Halloween shops are a good example of pop-up locations.
As the popularity of pop-ups has increased, so have the industries where they can be found. Since the 2010s, pop-up restaurants have become the norm, here and there. And since right around that same time, pop-up airport lounges have become a “thing” as well. Some are just temporary replacement lounges while their “real” lounge counterparts get a renovation. But others use pop-up lounges in airports to advertise certain items. For example:
- Jose Cuervo hosted a pop-up dedicated to the Rolling Stones, at JFK, in 2015
- Chicago O’Hare had a kid-focused “Fly with Butch O’Hare” lounge for a short time in 2017, while Chanel hosted a pop-up lounge at LAX that same year
- Evolve Chocolate hosted a pop-up lounge in Washington State’s Bellingham International Airport in 2018
- Uber had a pop-up lounge at O’Hare in 2019
- Nintendo opened pop-up gameplay lounges in 4 U.S. airports in early 2020
- Syracuse Airport saw a pop-up lounge operated by Cornell graduate students in 2021
Following in those companies’ footsteps, Kentucky-based whiskey maker Woodford Reserve is creating a lounge at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, with the plan to bring the flavors of its American Whiskey to traveling consumers.
Bringing a farm-to-bar cocktail menu to the pop-up, Woodford Reserve is partnering with the iconic Paris-based cocktail bar Little Red Door for this endeavor. To add to the fun, the famed La Maison du Chocolat of Paris has crafted a special bonbon meant to pair perfectly with Woodford Reserve.
The custom menu at the pop-up will feature Woodford Reserve cocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails inspired by the 200 flavors in every bottle of the Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Tastings will vary daily. With sustainability in mind, cocktails will be served in keepsake Govino glasses, which are shatterproof, reusable and sustainable.
A variety of Woodford Reserve products will be available to purchase, including Bourbon, Malt, Double Oaked, Five-Malt Stouted Mash, Batch Proof 128.3, and Baccarat Edition. An exclusive bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon featuring a “From Paris With Love” design will also be available at the lounge. Customizable gift tags will be available for consumers to add to their bottles.
“This unique sensory lounge will bring the flavors of Woodford Reserve to all those traveling through Charles De Gaulle Airport,” said Chris Morris, Master Distiller at Woodford Reserve. “It’s an interactive way to introduce consumers to Woodford Reserve with a Parisian twist, elevating the travel shopping experience to new levels.”
The pop-up lounge will run from 7am to 4pm each day from August 30 to September 26. It’ll be located in Terminal 2E at Gate M.
This isn’t the first pop-up lounge CDG has ever had. Back in the summer of 2012, there was, of all things, an Ikea pop-up at the French airport. And Martell hosted a Cognac-centric pop-up at CDG in 2015.
Feature Photo (cropped): Gary Bembridge / flickr / CC by 2.0
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