As a native of Grand Rapids, I had to jump on the opportunity to photograph Hopcat's newest location in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. The new Clark St. space is practically two full restaurant spaces joined together. On top of that, there will be over 130 beers on offer. I have a feeling that this will become a staple much like it is in my hometown. Be sure to check out the full coverage over at Eater Chicago.
In celebration of it's 10th birthday, Rockit Bar & Grill spent five months redesigning their entire River North space. The interior designer, Kara Mann, successfully married River North sophistication with a rock-and-roll edge. The two styles join together seamlessly with upscale fixtures and materials in a dark space. Street art and floral upholstery, brick walls and brass taps, raw steel and marble - proving the phrase 'opposites attract' to be entirely true. Read more about the grand re-opening here.
Hot on the heels of Virgin Hotel's Chicago opening, the rooftop has been revealed to the public adding to the list of great cocktails to enjoy whilst sitting amongst the Chicago skyline. We were very excited to work with Virgin Hotels again on this big project that has elevated their popularity even more!
On the border of Ukrainian Village and Humboldt Park, Boeufhaus has claimed a space to call home. The German influenced steak-house offers not only a great food and drink menu but a charming atmosphere, too. The space is filled with vintage pieces including the old icebox that was found on the property and originally used by a German butcher who used to occupy the same space. This stretch of Western Ave. is definitely growing quickly and is looking like a great spot to spend the evening. Check out the Eater Chicago article here.
One of the most striking things about touring this home was realizing that it was a bit like taking a portrait of its owners. The Bridgeport couple dreamed up every last detail of their ideal home and made it into a reality. There was no shortage of personality in each room, as the space serves as a canvas for their personal taste. The salvaged materials and simple but refined finishes matched the character of the neighborhood perfectly. Really glad to have gotten the opportunity to photograph this home!
Occupying 40,000 square feet in the Woodfield Mall out in Schaumburg is the first Level 257: A Pac Man world complete with a restaurant and gaming galore. The Woodfield location is the first of what could be many more similar ventures by Namco Entertainment. It was seriously so much fun shooting this space for Eater Chicago. I got to speak with some of the essential players who had a hand in making this Pac Man world a reality and was clued in on the story behind the name. In the original game of Pac Man, you reach a kill-screen at level 256 (I wonder how many people have actually reached this...) Level 257 is Pac Man's next step! The space encourages patrons to be social with one another while playing games, so adults have the chance to go back and relive a piece of their childhood. Looking forward to an evening of "1 Up's" and "Filet Mig-Nom".
"We call it toast, because it is toast. You won't see us calling them tartines or anything like that." It may seem like semantics, but Dave Miller's simple distinction eloquently captures the new approach of the Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse in Lincoln Square. Dave & Megan Miller came to fame with the founding their Logan Square landmark, Bang Bang Pie. After 4 years of meteoric growth, the Millers found themselves looking to move back to the basics. Enter the Baker Miller concept. Dave and Megan will be hands-on throughout the entire baking process, from milling their own wheat to hand-rolling oats. In just the few menu items that I had the opportunity to speak with Millers about and photograph, one could tell that they were carefully crafted and more importantly created by someone having fun doing what they love. Baker Miller will be opening its doors to the public on September 22nd, and I will surely be making many trips over to Lincoln Square to get my baked good fix! Make sure to check out all the coverage on Eater as well!
Roasted Capon Chicken Grain Bowl. Seasonal grains with pickled carrots and greens. The Millers searched extensively for a source for this particular type of heritage chicken while developing this dish.
Three of the Miller's amazing toast offerings. At left: Nova Lox (pickled in beet juice) with House-Made Chevre. At right: Prosciutto & Poached Egg with House-Made Chevre and Dandelion Greens. Below: Radish & Poached Egg Toast with House-Made Chevre, Kale, and Blake Flake Salt.
Popovers, Whole Wheat Cookies, and Hand Pies. Oh My!
Vegans can definitely be happy about this next point. After careful experimentation, the Millers were able to re-formulate their pie crust recipe without lard! As you can see below in their classic apple pie, not a single bit of the golden-brown flaky goodness was lost either.
Walking into the lobby at 73 East really sets the tone for the rest of this 42-story apartment tower in the heart of the loop. Its colorful and modern look is a thread that connects the building common spaces and amenities to the actual rental units themselves. I was lucky enough to tag along on a private tour of the building for Curbed Chicago, guided by RMK Properties President Tony Rossi Sr. It was a whirlwind tour on a VERY misty and cloudy August day, but as always a really great experience.
London, New York, Berlin, Toronto, Miami, Hollywood, and now Chicago. Soho House, a private member's club for those in the film, media, and creative industries, has just opened the doors to its newest "house" in Chicago's Fulton Market neighborhood. I photographed the site for Curbed Chicago back in March when there was still scaffolding on the facade and plenty of snow on the ground, so spending some time documenting the nearly completed space on a sunny August day was a treat. Check out the full article here!
As to be expected, especially at the $2,000 price point for membership, the design and furnishings inside the Allis Building (formerly a factory building producing rubber belts) were gorgeous. My favorite part about the space though was the subtle use of the wood behind the front desk and around the elevator bay. The wood came from the water tower that used to sit on top of the building, and if you look closely you can still see some of the original lettering!
The lobby/lounge space, although a bit narrow, was soaked in beautiful bright light. I could definitely see it as a nice place to do some work and have a cup of coffee, cocktail, or small bite to eat. This space, as well as the Soho House's two restaurants Chicken Shop and Pizza East, are all open to the public.
The Soho House will be adding 40 hotel rooms to the West Loop marketplace. The rooms, available in three sizes (small, medium, and medium-plus) are available to the public starting at $240 a night. The space pictured below is a medium-plus, and felt quite spacious. The furnishings were nice and very consistent with the style of the lobby/lounge.
Ever since James Thompson first surveyed the city in 1830, Chicago has been known for its grid system of planning. This system has many benefits, one of being that one can quite quickly pinpoint the location of a building just by hearing the address number. So when I got the call from Curbed Chicago to check out 111 Wacker, I knew we were going to be dealing with a unique type of apartment building. Check out the entire article and tour here!
The 60 story tower on the bank of the Chicago River has long been in the works, but since 2011 developer Related Midwest has been at the helm. The sleek LEED Silver tower by Handel Architects, coupled with stunning interiors designed by Kara Mann make OneEleven a truly fresh offering to the Chicago luxury rental market.
One of the most exciting parts about shooting opening tours for Curbed Chicago is the speed at which we move through the building. For the most part we will spend no more than 5 minutes in a particular room or space, so quickly visualizing images becomes very important. Its a great exercise that sharpens me visually. This specific shoot, for instance, lasted just over an hour. We viewed all of the common spaces and amenities, as well as 6 different model units! The final article was a monster photo post running with 96 images! Despite how mentally exhausting it can be, I get so much gratification out of working in an environment such as this.
I'm sure many of you (or at least the guys) have seen Trunk Club's stylish clothing advertisements make their way onto your Facebook news feed. There may even be a few of you out there who are actual customers. I've got to admit, up until this week when I got a chance to tour and photograph Trunk Club's River North headquarters for Curbed Chicago, I didn't know much about the operation than what I'd gleaned from their ads.
Despite the sheer square footage of the place (45k sq ft), the second you walk into the lobby from the elevator you can feel the hustle and bustle of stylists, tailors, clients, and countless other people. The day of the tour was beautifully sunny and mild (at 20 degrees that's relatively speaking) which allowed the interior's abundance of light brick and rich wood floors and ceilings to give off a nearly palpable warmth. The space, designed by Chicago native Kara Mann, does a spectacular job of creating a trendy high-end feel with just the right amount of hominess. This is a space that, at least in my opinion, exemplifies the importance of details in pulling off a larger feeling or style.
Much like Trunk Club's mission statement, the space is designed to be very experience oriented. There are fitting rooms for each of their flagship brands that are tailored (pun intended) in their design to that particular brand. I found this to be a really effective approach because once you stepped into that particular brand's room you could immediately grasp the aesthetic/lifestyle they were going for, great for someone who may not know much about the many different brands out there.
If having your own personal stylist and tailor looking after all of your sartorial needs is not enough, they've also got a full service bar that you can belly up to and get a drink! All in all a very cool place. With their subscriber numbers growing at fever pitch, I'd wager that we'll be seeing much more of their signature brown trunk boxes in the future.