At the interview, I told the new owner of The Lucky Platter he couldn’t afford what he wanted to do, but we could do what needed to be done.
It was clear something had to happen. The community loved the 20 year old restaurant for things like the outsider art and aluminum foil balls glued to the ceiling tiles, but it was tired, dirty, and sales were declining. It had a great vibe, but it was not enough to overcome the sticky woodwork.
The goal was to bring in new customers while keeping the existing. That meant treading carefully with changes. The space needed to be updated with moves that newer, younger residents of the neighborhood could relate to, but that preserved the heart of The Platter.
That heart was about humor. After all, it was a place that had pictures on the walls of a restaurant owner with celebrities. Just not this owner and not this restaurant. They were photos from the old Jimmy Wong’s on Wabash bought at a garage sale. It was that seat of the pants improvisation we aimed to preserve and build on.
Project Information and Credits:
Firm: Avery Architecture & Design
Location: Evanston, IL
Scope: Re-imaging for existing restaurant, redesign entrance for accessibility, new bar, custom booths and tables, lighting, furniture, flooring, ceiling finish, and color scheme
Services: Brand & aesthetic concept development; Architecture and interior design
Size: 2700 sf, 110 seats
Budget: Approximately $200K for all construction & FF&E
Clients: Derek Gaspar, Eric Young
Builder: Team One Group Inc.
Photos: Terese Poulos, Richard Avery
Project Duration: Two phases of design and construction work, five months total design time, three weeks total on site construction time