Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Original Penguin Still Has Swagger

Chef Dat and an Original Penguin employee

Blogger Alex Young from Eat. Style. Dallas.
Original Penguin has been around since the mid-1950's. They launched the line with a golf shirt to compete with Lacoste and pitted a cute penguin against the popular alligator.  Their golf shirt added an under-arm "action gusset" and moved the pocket to the right breast to avoid any interference with the swing.   Huge stars like Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Arnold Palmer and Frank Sinatra gave the brand "street cred" and thus, an iconic brand was born.

Flash forward several decades and Original Penguin is trying to get that street cred back.  The brand is sold in upscale and mid-priced department stores such as Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Nordstrom, and Urban Outfitters, and in regional boutiques, country clubs, and specialty stores. 

The company also established several standalone boutiques across the nation, which carry clothing by C&C and Levi's jeans as well as Original Penguin apparel.   Original Penguin has a boutique in NorthPark Center and they threw a swanky soiree last week to lure in shoppers by offering specialty Hendricks Gin cocktails from Mixologist Jason Kosmas and bites from Chef David Anthony Temple aka Chef DAT.   I sent my young, hip and newly-married assistant, Brittany Husted to scope out the scene:

Mixologist Jason Komas and guest
North Park is one of my FAVORITE malls so naturally I was thrilled to attend a store opening with deliciously crafted cocktails (all made with Hendricks) and scrumptious bites of food. I also kindly let my husband tag along since the clothing line focused more on guys.

We arrived at Original Penguin, which is located upstairs down from the food court, and were immediately greeted with a 30% off coupon and 3 drink tickets. Now this is my kind of event! While (my husband) Patrick scoped out the latest fashions, I made my way to the cocktails…I know, I always have my priorities in order!  I chatted with Mixologist Jason Kosmas, the Gin guru, about some of his favorite concoctions.All three cocktails that I tasted were delicious but my favorite would have to be the Pickle Martini.

My next stop was the food table where I met Chef Dat with Underground Dinners. There were 3 different “taco” options ranging from Hawaiian Ahi Poke with avocado and jalapeno, Bourbon BBQ Pork with Tequila roasted poblano, and Smoked Eggplant with avocado, peppers, and onions. Can you say YUM!!  After locating Patrick, with an arm full or purchases, we quickly stopped by the DJ table before heading out. So next time you’re shopping at North Park make sure to stop by Original Penguin. Keep it Dapper!

Brittany attended Texas State University where she graduated with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. Brittany and her husband live in Dallas with their two beautiful children/dogs, Marley and Kona. She currently works at Gangway Advertising as an Account Executive and in her spare time she enjoys her family and friends, traveling, shopping, taking pictures, and trying new restaurants. You can follow her on Twitter @brittanyhusted.