Blog Post

Hospitality Design Award Winner: Gettys’ Switch Cafe & Wine Bar

Last Updated: May 24, 2024

“And the award goes to……” Gettys Group and Switch Cafe & Wine Bar take top honors at the HI Connect Design 2014 People’s Choice Awards.

The 2014 HI Connect Design event has come and gone. As we settle back in and organize the long list of contacts collected it’s hard not to fondly reminisce about the week past. WineEmotion recently had the privilege of partnering with the innovative hospitality design group, Gettys Group of Chicago in the new, vibrant tradeshow.

HI Connect, HI short for Hotel Interactive, is an innovative tradeshow created to provide a user experience for Hoteliers, Designers, Purchasers along with many other hospitality professionals. Instead of having individual booths, suppliers team up to create a real live working restaurant, lounge, lobby, room, etc.

At the helm is a designer for each vignette. WineEmotion’s vignette was designed and orchestrated by industry veteran Jackson Thilenius of Gettys. The concept was an energetic cafe and wine bar that was designed to easily switch from cafe to wine bar in a minute flat.

Named after its ingenious versatility, Switch was a tremendous hit amongst attendees and participants alike. So much of a hit that it was convincingly voted Best Overall Vignette.

Amongst a couple hundred or so vignettes sat Switch Cafe. It wasn’t always the busiest, nor did it take up the most space but the clever features incorporated into the concept all contributed to the success. In the morning, attendees could come by and enjoy all the espresso drinks by Nespresso and in the evening they could enjoy fresh red, white and rosé wine from the WineEmotion wine dispenser and preservation system.

WineEmotion wine dispensers kept the wine fresh and at ideal temperature for the wine bar portion of Gettys’ Switch.

WineEmotion wine dispensers kept the wine fresh and at ideal temperature for the wine bar portion of Gettys’ Switch.

Carefully selected by head designer, Jackson Thilenius, each supplier provided their own product for the vignette. Everything worked, from the lighting fixtures to the digital wall art, espresso machine to the wine dispensing and preservation system. Not to be one to miss on details, Thilenius even incorporated Emmy nominated performers to play live music in the cafe/wine bar’s fully functional music stage.

As attendees approached the vignette they were greeted with three 12 ft tables constructed from whole slivers of walnut ( It’s fare to say that the table tops were a favorite amongst designers. Down the center of the vignette, attendees were greeted with the WineEmotion wine dispensing system and to its left was the espresso bar and machine by Nespresso.

Switch Cafe & Wine Bar won Best Overall Vignette at the 2014 HI Connect Design show.

Switch Cafe & Wine Bar won Best Overall Vignette at the 2014 HI Connect Design show.

Depending on the time of day, visitors would either ordered espresso or wine and found a place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Each nook in the vignette was lined with digital wall covering depicting decorative images by Grand Entrance ( Whether there to relax, socialize or get down to business the ambiance was accommodating for all intents.

Many of the top Hoteliers and Hospitality Groups and Designers spent significant time at Switch, experiencing the energy and innovations stretched throughout. It was a week of creative stimulation for all attendees and one thing is certain, travelers can expect to start seeing the “Switch” cafe and wine bar concept at many of their favorite destination resorts and hotels in the near future.

All the brands involved with Switch cafe & wine bar were chosen by vignette designer, Jackson Thilenius of Gettys Group and contributed an integral part in the vignette’s success.


For the complete list of Award at the 2014 HI Connect Design show… Click Here