Image: Chicago Eater
Stranger Things is awesome, so it’s not surprising that people want to do all sorts of things around it. Like Emporium Chicago, who ran a Stranger Things themed pop-up bar inside their arcade bar. It’s got all the things you’d expect: flickering Christmas lights, cocktails inspired by the show, an 80’s themed dance party and music from the Hawkins Middle School A.V. Club.
The one thing it didn’t have: the permission of Netflix.
Before we go any further, here’s a video from the Emporium Chicago Facebook taking you through the bar. Honestly, if this was in Sydney, I’d be drinking there every time.
So back to the letter. Netflix finds out about this unsanctioned use of their IP, and refers the matter to their lawyers. Netflix’s senior counsel of content and brand IP emailed Danny and Doug Marks – the owners of the bar – letting them know that, hey, you kinda need to ask us first before doing this sort of stuff.
But in a neat twist, Netflix’s lawyers are going to allow the pop-up bar to continue operating until the end of September (when it was scheduled to end):
— Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) September 19, 2017
“We love our fans more than anything, but you should know that the demogorgon is not always as forgiving. So please don’t make us call your mum,” the letter ends.
If you want to be ultra-cynical, it makes complete sense for Netflix. Themed pop-up bars are becoming a savvy alternative for commercial campaigns, and Netflix has the good fortune of having a private business go out of their way to make one without Netflix having to spend a dime. On top of that, the bar will wrap up only weeks before the second Stranger Things season drops on October 27.
So it’s a win-win for everyone. But it’s also nice to see that lawyers, sometimes, don’t have to burn fan creations down to the ground entirely. Unless it’s video games.