They say the West Loop is the best Loop and it’s where we like to hang out. Between the popular dining spots and any new murals popping up, this neighborhood has created its own identity. If you’re looking to explore new places in the area, we’ve got a round up of or faves to make your first (or next) visit a blast.
The best way to start an excursion is with a little primping right? We love Solo Salon’s mission to highlight every individual’s uniqueness through their work and Michael and Kristine, the husband and wife duo’s dedication to educating hairdressers in their space. We had the pleasure of designing this salon to reflect Solo’s elevated experience. Some of our favorite aspects of the space are the Andy Warhol selfie paper, the Gibson Girl portraits and the wallpaper featuring our own design created from Solo’s logo. We’ll find ourselves here before a night out to get our nails polished or our makeup touched up.
This is the kind of spot that you can stop into, or spend hours at. It is the first U.S coffee shop of Hiroshi Sawada, and features some of the best latte art we’ve seen. The coffee shop has opened as a collaboration between Sawada and Brendan Sodikoff of Hogsalt Hospitality. Upon experiencing Sawada’s shop Steamer in Japan and a bit of discussion, Sodikoff cleared a space in Green Street Smoked Meats to make room for his vision. Beyond taste, Sawada will thrill the senses with their ping pong table, punching bag, and pinball machine. The shop highlights the industrialism thats trademark of the West Loop, while bringing in artful accents like their custom painted espresso machine and exterior murals. While you’re there make sure to grab a donut a la The Doughnut Vault as well.
If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial than coffee and doughnuts, stop by Parlor. The former auto repair shop that occupied the lot was torn down so the restaurant could be built from the ground up. Their outdoor beer garden makes them a perfect stop for a casual summer night. Parlor offers classic pizza options but also includes more adventurous ingredients like dijon bechamel, spicy pineapple with coconut cheese, and duck confit. Reclaimed wood and industrial lighting fixtures were used in this space to give it a warm and casual feel.
Talk about a kick-ass woman! Sarah Grueneberg leads this kitchen after winning The James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef: Great Lakes,” and The Jean Banchet Award for “Chicago Restaurant of the Year” as well as featuring on Food Network’s “Iron Chef Gauntlet.” We love sharing the ragú alla napoletana or snacking on the burrata e ham. If you’re stopping in for drinks try the limone spritz or the birch please. We love how bright an airy this place is, filled with subtle touches of greenery.
The cozy interior was designed to feel like a secret clubhouse with velvet tufted bench seating, a custom mural and tile wall, a vintage refrigerator, and plenty of plant life sitting on the windowsills. As one of our favorite projects, we are always popping by this spot for the charcuterie board and the fabulous Tasmanian rose, Jansz.
If you’re looking to enjoy a staycation in our city’s backyard, just a few floors up from the Press Room, is The Publishing House. We were honored to work with Kimberly, co-owner of the space, to design a midcentury bed and breakfast that pulls inspiration from around the world. We spent two years scouring flea markets for the vintage gems that occupy this century year old building’s 11 rooms. This spaces originality makes it a worthy setting for a few nights stay or an event.