Concept & Design
A cocktail bar and restaurant mixing history and modernity, a home for bon vivants and seekers of uncharted experiences.
Named after the bohemian freethinkers of the 1950s and ’60s, Beatnik West Town channels the beatnik generation’s sense of style, aspiration and rebellion to create an exotic escape with maximalist interiors, lush gardens, ingredient-led cocktails and globally inspired cuisine.
Mirroring our design-through-storytelling whimsy, Executive Chef Dustin Musgrave takes guests on a journey through the Middle East with flavors from Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Northern Syria while utilizing local farms in the Midwest.
Beatnik’s award-winning beverage team, led by industry vanguard Brian Sturgulewski, finds a fine balance between relaxed and attentive service, with a team that elevates the experience with a culinary approach to craft cocktails. Drinks are savory and fresh, with inventive recipes that follow a no-waste sensibility by utilizing kitchen leftovers or ingredients found in our gardens or the cocktails they adorn. Non-alcoholic drinks have been a mainstay of the beverage program since day one, with spirit-free cocktails that share the same flavorful, colorful and fun originality as our spirit-friendly creations.
Our wine list is an artful amalgamation of wines that are progressive, fun and urge your sense of adventure with every sip. It is a compact attaché that contains the story of winemakers who make wine in lesser-known regions of the Mediterranean and the Americas. The winemakers on our list are avant-garde, rebels, artists, and their creations will help you along your adventure from coast to coast.
Beatnik’s aesthetic is driven by a triumphant fusion of three destinations close to our heart: Morocco for its opulent combinations of color and artistic passion, the Mediterranean countryside for its bucolic splendor and Italy for a healthy dose of polish and panache to sex it all up.
Concepted and designed by Maison Bonhomme, the contrasting styles and textures of Beatnik West Town feature antique pieces from around the world and more than 400 living plants throughout the 6,000-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 was 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
— 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