Restaurant Development & Design

FALL 2014

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

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F A L L 2 0 1 4 • 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 • 5 1 D escribed as a "sceney stunner" by Bon Appétit magazine, which nominated it as a 2014 Best New Restaurant, Nico Osteria opened in the new Thompson Chicago hotel last November. It's the latest in a string of solid-gold restaurant concepts de- veloped by James Beard Award–winning executive chef Paul Kahan and his partners at One Off Hospitality Group, whose portfolio includes iconic Chicago concepts Blackbird, avec and The Publican. At Nico Osteria, where Kahan's team turns out rustic Italian seafood and small plates, and its adjacent bar/lounge Salone Nico, a comfortably modern, residential-inspired space sets the scene. The same look and feel permeate the Thompson Chicago property thanks to a fully integrated design by Tara Bernerd of London's Tara Bernerd & Partners. It's also a design that was well underway before One Off Hospitality got the nod to serve as the hotel's signature F&B provider. In addition to being the group's frst hotel-based restaurant proj- ect, Nico Osteria also was the frst project for which One Off did not have complete interior design control. "We're very design focused and are always very involved in our design process, typically collaborating with Thomas Fletcher of Design Bureau, who has worked on our other projects," says Donnie Madia, a managing partner and owner at One Off. "But Tara Bernerd was already in the process of designing the hotel and the public spaces. The owners felt it would be best to have her do the restaurant as well. Thomas consulted with us on schemat- ics, but the actual design and FF&E was all done by Tara and her group. It was a multifaceted project, but everyone worked really well together. The end result is a beautiful, effcient operation." Bernerd's initial work on the property included completely gut- ting the lower levels of what was formerly the Sutton Place Hotel to create a new layout and fow for Thompson Chicago's lobby and primary public spaces. The main foor, where Nico Osteria and Salone Nico sit, was expanded; a driveway entrance to what was a lower-level NICO OSTERIA BY DANA TANYERI, Editor-in-Chief PROJECT PROFILE Industrial-Chic Design Sets the Stage for One Off Hospitality's Hotel Restaurant Debut Photos by Fogelson and Jetel

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