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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N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 • 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 • 2 1 excited about any change to Wrigley's old-school charm. The $1 billion renovation project started with some rehabbing of Wrigley Field itself, a project that remains in progress, and was followed by the 2017 opening of The Park at Wrigley (now called Gallagher Way), an open green space with an outdoor bar and a huge video screen showing games and mov- ies. In March 2018, the Ricketts family opened their ‡rst hotel, located on Clark Street just across from the front entrance of Wrigley Field. The 173- room Hotel Zachary (named after Zach- ary Taylor Davis, the Chicago architect who designed Wrigley Field in 1914) is now home to not only its own indoor- outdoor bar/restaurant/event/lounge space but also to ‡ve other local, chef- driven and/or independent concepts, including a ‡ner-dining restaurant, a popular taco and margarita concept, a barbecue spot and a bakery-plus- cocktails shop. "We focused on a lot of under-used real estate like parking lots, where we could be impactful and bring more amenities to the game day and non- game day experience," says Eric Nord- ness of Hickory Street Capital (HSC), which led the development of the Hotel Zachary and Gallagher Way. "We looked to the history of Wrigley Field, a 100-plus-year-old stadium that ac- cidentally wound up in a neighborhood with bars and residences, and tried to create something of a town square that would bring the community together and become a 365-day-a-year venue." Other than opening Gallagher Way farmer's markets, community yoga and outdoor movies, HSC reached out to Chicago-based restaurant groups to open concepts in the red brick building anchored by the hotel. Charlie Trotter alum Chef Matthias Merger opened Mordecai, a bi-level cocktail bar and restaurant with its own balcony for view- ing games on the big screen at the park and a menu featuring re‡ned American fare and seafood. And then there's Chi- cago chef-restaurant giant Paul Kahan's popular Big Star taco and margarita concept with two central bars on two levels, offering plenty of space for fans and locals to grab drinks and snacks. Smoke Daddy serves barbecue, and West Town Bakery pairs sweets and sa- vories with boozy milkshakes and more. At the southern end opposite Big Star, there's Dutch & Doc's, a new concept by the proli‡c Boka Restaurant Group, which also owns Stephanie Izard's Girl & The Goat. "We knew we wanted to be hyper local to Chicago," Nordness says. "A lot of restaurant groups from outside of the city contacted us, but we wanted our approach to be more authentic and real to the people of this city." Nordness' team also focused on working closely with neighborhood residents, city of‡cials and the existing architecture to keep noise levels down, and building heights low — a hallmark of non-downtown Chicago neighborhood architecture. The exterior of the seven- story Hotel Zachary riffs on the red brick exterior of Wrigley Field. "There was some healthy skepti- cism from some small, vocal parties in the area but we also had a tremendous amount of support, and by listening to everyone's views, we feel we were able to come up with a successful concept and design," Nordness says. Most recently, The Wheelhouse Hotel opened kitty-corner to the Hotel Zachary and brought in Union Pizza, another local restaurant concept, this one serving square-shaped, baked-in- the-pan Detroit-style pies with a design focus that centers on the open kitchen with its stacked ovens. Again, in keep- ing with the neighborhood, the height for that building and restaurant, which was designed and constructed by Cu- rioso and architect George Sorich, tops out at ‡ve ¥oors, allowing Wrigley Field (with the exception of some residential rooftop viewing balconies) to remain the highest structure in the area. The Hotel Zachary is home to more than ve chef-driven concepts. Photo courtesy of David Burk

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