Postmates Went Old School at ComplexCon With a 50s Era Diner

Postmates is an app that bends to meet the demands of your day, wherever you might be.

Complex Original



Postmates has become one of the most beloved and successful apps on the market due to its unique ability to bring the outside world into the comfort of your own home. With just the click of a button, all sorts of food could be at your kitchen table in a matter of minutes. Whether you're looking forward to a quiet night in or trying to feed a party full of people, Postmates is an app that bends to meet the demands of your day, wherever you might be.


All of which made it fascinating when, during the first day of ComplexCon in Long Beach, California, Postmates turned itself into the destination. Snuggled between eye-popping sneaker displays and a booth dedicated to the legendary hip-hop producer Mike Dean, the Postmates booth stood out in its own unique way. Unlike their neighbors, who opted for Technicolor splashes and speakers with pounding music, Postmates went for a decidedly different aesthetic: that of a 1950s diner, complete with comfortable booths and a clean, neon sign on the wall. It was only when you stepped inside to get a closer look that you understood this was a diner with a bit of a modern edge—the sign read, “Postmates: Better Than Your Boyfriend.”

While South Central Los Angeles rapper G Perico, whose music recalls the esteemed gangsta rap of the early 1990s, played on the Pigeons & Planes stage a few hundred feet to the north, the makeshift diner opened its doors to patrons, taking them on a different kind of retro trip. Brand representatives posed as Eisenhower-era wait staff, complete with crisp uniforms, and stylish paper hats. Never idle, they scribbled imaginary orders on old-time restaurant tickets, then used the same stationary to pass out discount codes to those who stopped by. Existing customers were able to secure a full month of free delivery, while those who were new to the app could earn up to $100 in delivery credits. If ComplexCon guests entered the codes into their apps while in the diner itself, they were rewarded with an array of surprises.

One of the unique things about ComplexCon as an event is that it attracts leaders from a variety of industries, as well as their fans of all ages. Alex, 16, said that he and his friends use Postmates frequently after school, when they're hungry but without a car or parents to drive them around. “That code’s definitely about to come in handy,” he told me, “for real, for real.” Sydney, 25, who was sheepish about her habitual Postmates orders to her out-of-the-way apartment in Eagle Rock, praised the old-school diner look, saying, “It really reminds you of how we connect food to those different eras and moments in our lives.”

Saturday alone was a banner day for the convention, marked by surprise appearances from Andre 3000, Lonzo Ball, Pusha T, and countless others. Fans got a sneak preview of the upcoming N.E.R.D album, while others lined up by the dozens to pursue a booth for what they hoped was a new Eminem album. In the middle of a tangled maze of what's new and unprecedented, a cozy diner was a reminder that sometimes, the most powerful thing you can do is imagine the past in a new way.

Photography by Jacqueline Verdugo 


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