Workshop/APD owners Matt Berman and Andrew Kotchen were asked to help renovate one of Chicago’s most historic hotels a 1912 Michigan Avenue building and they immediately knew that this was and incredible oportunity especially because it was a bulding with a lot of character. Check out the story behind this Amazing Chicago Historic Hotel Renovation!
This project is About Last Knife, a the restaurant in Hotel Julian. Originally constructed in 1912 by Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall, the Hotel’s building served as an office for decades before being boarded up—until 2016.
About Last Knife, a mixture of a steakhouse-meets-gastropub, needed a design team all of its own—one with the experience in designing spaces that balance modern trends that’s why Worshop/APD was the right team for the job. They already had proven their experience with Chef Dale Talde’s Massoni and Talde in New York and Miami Beach, respectively.
“We really like the industrial components of Chicago and wanted to capture the essence of that. We wanted to reveal the grit of the city.”
Although the space needed a renovation, the team tried their best to don’t give a feeling of “too new” to the restaurant. The resulting worn-in look was accomplished through simple but effective touches throughout the space, including concrete flooring with a perfectly distressed patina, midcentury French chandeliers, a Silestone quartz bar top, and floor-to-ceiling doors with mesh screening.
An interesting detail about this renovation was the mural of Marshall himself, the architect responsible for some of the city’s most notable turn-of-the-century buildings—the restaurant’s home being no exception.
“It serves as a tribute to him—it’s a way of looking back from where we’ve come while also moving forward.”
“In keeping with the restaurant’s name, we wanted to bring guests back to this idea of cutting through something—like steak,”
The prized location and a lonstanding history of this Chicago restaurant spaks the curisoity of the guests and gives it a new meaning.
“A project like that is particularly special—you really feel like you’re breathing new life into something.”
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