Located in Chicago’s West Loop, Belly Q adds a unique flavor to the existing ‘Randolph St. Restaurant Row’. Chef Bill Kim, known for his widely acclaimed Urban Belly and Belly Shack venture, has teamed up with Michael Jordan and the Cornerstone Group to present a new look at Asian Barbeque.
DMAC Architecture worked with Cornerstone and Kim’s creative team to maximize the restaurants experience through a variety of design elements. Among the restaurant’s many features are a full bar, grab-and-go area, built-in hibachi grille tables, a large flexible dining space, bar lounge seating and a separate private area which includes a karaoke room. Subtly nestled along the Randolph St. corridor, the building’s new glass storefront & setback entry pocket is able to connect with its context while allowing passersby to interact with the various restaurant activities happening inside. The relatively open restaurant and bar arrangement is designed to maximize opportunity and experience. The addition of the karaoke room and DJ booth add to the playful nature of the restaurant which makes it so unique. The furniture and finishes were keenly scaled back without sacrificing taste.
Characteristics of the existing building are highlighted with a natural yet energetic material palette that embraces the building’s pickle factory origins. The central dining spaces offer a mixture of hot-rolled steel, brick, and concrete surfaces encompassing a large traditional open dining seating area and a row of 6 hibachi grille tables positioned along an arrangement of reclaimed wood booth screens giving patrons a variety of intimate and communal dining options. The dining space itself also has the flexibility of being subdivided for private or special events by 4 large movable wall screens whose dynamic graphics serve as a very lively backdrop. Another level of energy is introduced at the front bar with a large communal table and wing-back lounge chair seating areas situated below a number of industrial conveyor chandeliers.
To reinforce the industrial quality of the space, the bar is comprised of a mixture of concrete, wood tiles & frosted wire glass serving as both a point of interaction and a divider between bar lounge & dining space. Belly Q blends a unique and straightforward palette through its aesthetic and menu. Distinguished food is mixed with the true industrial grit of what makes the West Loop and Randolph St. the place to be.