Location: 2840 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, Illinois
Program: Restaurant and Brewery
Middle Brow is doing exciting things in the world of beer. Their brew is sophisticated and approachable. The owners are a great inspiration and designing their new home base for their business was fantastic and rewarding.
The existing building that Bungalow occupies was once a dark room for the camera store next door. The space was long, narrow and dark. The design team met that challenge by opening up the building and providing a sequence of spaces that take advantage of the length of the building by creating a series of experiences.
The front area of the restaurant is designed as an informal, café like space. This area is used in the mornings to serve breakfast, coffee, and artisan bread that is made fresh on site. The scale of the space creates a relaxed environment and hosts a piano for those that may fancy a go.
A small retail area and a beautiful open bar and kitchen greet patrons when they walk into the building. Because the menu was kept simple (and delicious) we were able to keep most of the active kitchen out font, where people could watch the chef work. The kitchen and bar are organized into two zones in order to keep things moving along smoothly.
The interior is warm, inviting, and comfortable. Natural light is featured throughout and, when the weather permits, the large doors opposite the bar can be opened to blur the line between interior and exterior.
A sky lit dining room with banquette seating and a long table provide a place to eat while sitting next to the large wood foeders that Middle Brow uses for some of its special brews. Bringing a part of the brewing operations front and center was a big focus of the main dining room. Behind the foeders are the steel tanks for storing brews, restrooms, and back-of-house space.