Restaurant Development & Design

NOV-DEC 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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2 0 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 TREND Wrigleyville Chicago Nestled around the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field, the Wrigleyville neigh- borhood was once home to more fast food chains and street crime than the loud and boisterous, beer-slinging bars that have taken over the main drive in recent decades. As a result, when the project team •rst started brainstorming ideas for the heavily residential neigh- borhood, the •rst goal was to create a more community-driven entity meant to cater to the increasing crowds of tour- ists exploring the area and also to the families, young people and long-time residents, some of whom were less than By Amelia Levin W hen longtime Chicago Cubs fan Tom Ricketts bought the team in 2009, fans rejoiced. Maybe this was the key to a better team and a better Wrigley Field, the venerable ballpark the team has called home since 1916. Two years later, Theo Epstein signed on as president of baseball operations, and Ricketts' real estate arm, Hickory Street Capital, began laying out plans for development in the area. Finally, in 2016, fans' wishes were granted. Not only did the Cubs end their 108-year championship drought by winning the World Series that year but residents and tourists alike were treated to spruced up retail and dining options that would prove to be just as vibrant and worth visiting on non-game days. The restaurant, hotel and bar development model that the Ricketts took follows a similar pattern to the ones other sports venues have traveled around the country. No longer is a soggy hot dog or a bag of peanuts going to cut it at the game, nor will a simple pitcher of beer be enough for a pre- or post-game beverage. Fans these days want more choices at and around the ballpark or stadium. At the same time, restaurants recognize the huge revenue potential to cater to diners of all ages, demographics and preferences pre-, during- and post-game. On non-game days, these multi-use lifestyle hubs around the country are the primary — and preferred — food, drink and entertainment options amid already well-populated neighborhoods as well as those just beginning to blossom. While each of these development sites features its own unique design and roster of restaurant concepts, they do share some common threads. These places have to meet high-volume demands their peak periods bring, of course, but they also must meet the need for speed in order to cater to fans that might only have 20 minutes before the game to stop by for a cocktail and a snack. Private space and ample bar space are musts for these places when it comes time to hang out during or after a game. In addition, all three of the devel- opment projects mentioned below had to work with the community, neighbors and local government of•cials to make sure they adhere to noise, traf•c or other regulations in their respective neighborhoods and also •t into the neighborhood design-wise. That's why you'll often see partnerships with local, independent restaurants and chefs and others meant to celebrate the culture of the city in which they reside. Many of these restaurants, hotels and spaces of- fer ample outdoor seating and balcony space with extra viewing opportunities, especially on warm weather days. In addition to the three development areas featured in this article, expect upcoming changes in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Los Angeles and potentially San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. Sports Arena Restaurant Development Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field is an open green space with an outdoor bar and a huge video screen that shows games and movies. Photo courtesy of David Burk

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