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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5 2 • 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 • F A L L 2 0 1 4 parking garage was removed, and central elevators were moved. Suspended ceil- ings over what is now Salone Nico were removed to expose a soaring glass atrium and second mezzanine-level bar. "It's a completely new fow," Bernerd says. "Very much like that of a home. You walk through the entrance, through the salon and into the kitchen, or in this case into the restaurant/kitchen. That was a very poignant part of our role; the visualization of the layout and how the spaces would fow into one another. From there, it be- came about the textures and the fnishes. We had already gone quite far with the look and feel of the restaurant by the time One Off was introduced, but we had an immediate connection and a great working relationship. They warmed to our design, and we to their food and entire style of operating. We were able to take the seed that we'd already started growing and grow it better with them." Informal Luxury, Industrial Chic Situated in a corner space of the property fronting Chicago's busy Gold Coast intersection of Rush and State streets, Nico Osteria's main dining room occupies a long rectangular space. Ac- cessed on one end from a separate street entrance and on the other through the hotel's lobby, it features windows and booth seating along the exterior wall. A large expo kitchen and crudo station, Synergy. We felt huge synergy with Donnie [Madia] and the team at One Off Hospitality. They liked where we were coming from, and we really needed and respected their input. That allowed for a far better journey than it could have been, given that we had the design direction set and work well underway before they came on. Details. The foor plan is the big thing. You have to have that solid before you get into fnishes, but then it's all about detailing. An atmosphere is created through layering. There are a lot of layers to this design, from the bar, to the rugs and tiles on the foors, the brick, the greenery, lighting and chairs, to the places to store the plates above the kitchen. It takes time and toll on design, but in the end it pays off. Challenges. The biggest challenge, as with any project, is making sure we come in on time and to the budget. But another thing is that today we have a much more savvy au- dience. They're more design savvy; they're much more food aware. And because of that the benchmark is very high. Design Insight TARA BERNERD, Tara Bernerd & Partners Photo by Alex Lake Nico Osteria's main dining room has windows and booth seating along the exterior wall. To the right sits a large expo kitchen and crudo station, with counter seating for up to 16.

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