Concept & Design

Named after the bohemian freethinkers of the 1950s and '60s, Beatnik West Town offers guests an exotic escape with progressive, globetrotting food and cocktails paired with a luxurious Old-World design. Created by Maison Bonhomme, Beatnik captures this worldly spirit by taking guests on a voyage through a series of vignettes that marry the bucolic splendor of a Mediterranean farmhouse with the colorful opulence of Moorish architecture and the tropical lushness of Bali.

“The 1950s were a time of immense change in American culture and around the world, a period of incredible economic growth and prosperity when the status quo was challenged by a new generation, whose eccentric, bohemian and unconventional spirit inspired Beatnik. Here we reach out into the past and into the wider world, as the Beat Generation did in their own time, to bring uncommon and cosmopolitan stories to Chicago,” says Daniel Alonso, the founder and creative director of Bonhomme Group. “This golden age was memorialized by post-War stars of fashion, literature, art, screen and musical score, whose unconventional works, impeccable style and jet-set lifestyle are a constant education for us. The iconoclasts of this era shaped and started a cultural revolution, from hippies to hipsters, that never ceases to inspire.”

The contrasting styles and textures of Beatnik feature antique pieces from around the world and more than 400 living plants throughout the 8,000-square-foot, 200-seat space. Expanding on the definition of what a Chicago restaurant should and could look like, our vast collection of exceptional antiques were carefully curated over two years, and when coupled with custom-designed pieces, push the boundaries of maximalist restaurant design in Chicago. Some of the more remarkable pieces in our collection include:

  • An enormous, 40-foot-wide by 10-foot-tall, Carved Teak Façade was imported from Bali, where it had been the façade of a grand home, to be a centerpiece of the dining room // circa 1900
  • 15 Massive Crystal Chandeliers were salvaged from the Ballroom of the Historic, Yamasaki-designed century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and today hang throughout the courtyard and dining room, generously adding history and glamour to the space // 1966
  • Glazed terra cotta tiles were used throughout the Andalusian-inspired courtyard to design and fabricate the bar and several spectacular custom planters
  • The main bar was built by marrying an Art Deco Tile Front Counter from Paris (circa 1920) and Artisanal Brass Elements (20-foot-long elaborate Brass Bar Counter and Four 6-foot-wide Multi-tiered Brass Shelves) fabricated by Chicago’s Wayward Machine Co.
  • 20 Restored Cast Iron “Teardrop” Chicago Street Lights were flipped upside down and hung above the main bar // circa 1970
  • Monumental 30-foot-wide by 13-foot-tall Pine Cabinets from the Terme di Salsomaggiore were used as both decorative elements and as the principal storage spaces for the bar team // Parma, Italy // circa 1930
  • Newspaper Letter Press Printers Trays were used to create texture by cladding one of the bars and framing the open kitchen // circa 1900
  • Custom Wall Coverings and Floor Mural by local artist Erik DeBat inspired by the Prints & Garments created by Fashion Icon Emilio Pucci // Chicago // 2017
  • Wrought Iron Wellhead from an Olive Grove in Malaga, Spain owned by an American who worked for the Secretary of State in the early part of the 20th century // 18th century
  • Salvaged sculptural elements from a David Best temple created for the Burning Man festival
  • Draper’s Table // Italy // circa 1900
  • Farmhouse Table // Italy // circa 1900
  • Shop Counter from the Oldest General Store in Illinois // Woodstock, IL // circa 1900
  • “Caramelera” Candy Display from a Sweets Shoppe // Argentina // circa 1920
  • Carved Wood Doors from a Home in Egypt // circa 1900
  • Bronze Fountains // American // circa 1920
  • Parisian Patisserie Counter // France // circa 1900
  • Cast Iron Planters // American // circa 1930
  • Cast Stone Planters // France // circa 1970
  • Industrial Vessels Repurposed as Planters // American // circa 1940
  • Bronze Candelabras // Argentina // circa 1900
  • Italian Seltzer Bottles // Parma, Italy // circa 1900
  • Collection of Hand Knotted Rugs throughout // Middle East, South Asia & Turkey // circa 1970