Graham Elliot Bistro

Brand Development. Architecture. Interior Design.

Lollapalooza After Party

From the beginning, Rock & Roll was in the restaurant’s DNA. As Culinary Director for the Lollapalooza music festival, Graham Elliot needed a better place to entertain bands after the shows. Previously, this had been happening at his eponymous, Michelin starred restaurant and it was leaving it worse for the wear. Graham Elliot Bistro (aka G.E.B) was intended from the beginning to assume these duties.

With this starting point for the design concept, we used music’s close cousin, religion, as something to contrast against and give the design energy by bringing their different aesthetics together. We left much of the raw former market space as we found it, using paint to highlight features and provide visual punch. Contrasting with this were refined elements such as the bar, refinished church pews, antique mirrors, and back-lit metal screens. All of these elements were arrayed around the open kitchen which came to be informally known as the alter.

The project was completed in six months from the start of design to opening. This was accomplished by overlapping parts of the design process with both permit reviews and construction. It was a fast, noisy, and exhilarating process which seemed appropriate given the origins of the project.

Project Information and Credits:
Firm: Avery Architecture & Design
AAD Project Team: Richard Avery, Design Lead; Ashley Featherstone, Design Intern
Location: Chicago, IL
Scope: New full service restaurant build-out
Services: Brand & aesthetic concept development; Architecture and interior design
Size: 6100 sf, 70 seats
Budget: Approx. $1.5m for all construction & FF&E
Client: Graham Elliot
Structural Engineer: Louis Shell Structures
MEP Engineer: Cartland Kraus Engineering
Kit. Equip. Design: Jeff Carlin, Tri-Mark
Builder: LG Construction
Photos: Terese Poulos
Project Duration: Six months, start of design to opening