February 13, 2020
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Boka Restaurant Group's latest collab with AvroKO, a trio of concepts at The Hoxton Chicago, is a true feast for the eyes.
Tipples tempt at Lazy Bird. (Photo: Galdones Photography/courtesy of Boka Restaurant Group)
Boka Restaurant Group co-founder Rob Katz has been a big fan of AvroKO for years. “They were kind of Kevin [Boehm] and mine’s design crush,” reminisces Katz of discovering the renowned design studio with his BRG co-founder on early trips to New York. That chemistry is on full display at the two James Beard Award-winning outfits’ latest collab, the new Hoxton Chicago hotel in Fulton Market, where three projects— basement cocktail bar Lazy Bird; Cira, Chris Pandel’s lobby-level Mediterranean brasserie; and Cabra, Stephanie Izard’s rooftop Peruvian-inspired perch—have established themselves as fixtures on Chicago’s see-and-be-seen circuit. Below, the can’t-miss details of the genre-spanning projects, all designed in partnership with the hotelier’s in-house outfit, Ennismore Design Studio. 200 N. Green St., 312.761.1700,
Verdant touches impart warmth at Cira. (Photo by Anthony Tahlier/courtesy of The Hoxton Chicago)
Cira (312.761.1777) deftly balances grandeur and intimacy, with the lobby’s double-height windows establishing a tangible connection to the surrounding Fulton Market neighborhood (behind the bar, the Green and Pink lines glide by with comforting familiarity). In the dining room, accents of tiled flooring, breezily hued banquettes and shelves of ceramics make for warm and welcoming touches.
You’ll notice: Toques working wonders in the open kitchen, a design choice also used up top at Cabra. Explains AvroKO partner Adam Farmerie, “Both [Mediterranean and Peruvian cultures] are places in which you often have dining experiences connected with the preparation of the meal, whether in a restaurant or invited into a home.”
Color and texture coalesce pleasingly at Cabra. (Photo by Anthony Tahlier/courtesy of The Hoxton Chicago)
Lively rooftop revelry abounds at Cabra (312.761.1717), informed by zippy flourishes like greenery-draped bar framework, an anything-but-boring bathroom corridor accoutered with Peruvian textiles and tassels, punchy paint stripes snaking across the dining room floor and a poppy palette of greens and pinks whose wattage intensifies on the daybed-lined pool patio.
You’ll notice: The enthusiastic embrace of texture (also prominent in Cira), from the teal green tiles below the bar to the teal green- and white-tiled wall running opposite of it. Details Farmerie, “Both [Mediterranean and Peruvian] are cultures that have developed incredible ceramic artistry traditions over centuries in both crockery and tile, which are celebrated in both restaurants.”
Lazy Bird evinces sophistication from below the hotel. (Photo by Anthony Tahlier/courtesy of The Hoxton Chicago)
Handsome blues and soothing greens strike as regal of a tune as the piano that holds court over Lazy Bird (312.761.1799), the seductively lit spot Katz likens to a pre-Prohibition speakeasy. Enthuses Ennismore interior designer Megan Gibbon, “When you’ve got the piano playing, it has this very magical feeling.” You’ll notice: “Four Women Sitting Down Together,” an acrylic painting from local artist Laura Berger (scouted by Anna Cerniglia’s Johalla Projects, the hotel’s art curator), which effects a striking, lush contrast to the concrete wall behind the bar.
You’ll notice: “Four Women Sitting Down Together,” an acrylic painting from local artist Laura Berger (scouted by Anna Cerniglia’s Johalla Projects, the hotel’s art curator), which effects a striking, lush contrast to the concrete wall behind the bar.