The Hive Restaurant & Bar

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Project: Description

An 8,000 sq. ft. adaptive use project proposed for the second floor of the former Borden's Dairy depot located at 312 W. Chestnut Street in the Near North Side neighborhood of Chicago, IL.

About the Client:

Windy City Restaurant Group purchased the existing two story structure with the intention of redeveloping the site into a mixed-use property.  The building formerly served as a Borden's Dairy Deport and features a clear span barrel truss roof.  Tenant 3 (the scope of this project) was projected to be used as either a restaurant, bar, or entertainment venue.  Interior demolition was substantially completed with new tenant areas designated at the time of design.  Development of a new brand identity for the project was included in the scope of work.

Project Goals:

  • Provide a functional space within the constraints of the existing building
  • Ensure the project design helps to differentiate the brand from local competitors while embracing the character and nuances of the neighborhood
  • Meet all applicable codes and guidelines in an environmentally conscious manner
  • Incorporate elements of innovation and sustainable design while meeting all project design requirements


Research conducted to facilitate an understanding of the client's intentions, target market, and project design requirements.  Based upon this information and an analysis of local case studies and trends in dining, the following requirements were identified.

  • Inside dining for at least 75 patrons
  • Bar area of a minimum of 15 linear feet with bar stools
  • Private dining room to seat at least 10 patrons with wine storage display (approx. 100 bottles)
  • Adequately sized kitchen for the level of cuisine to be served
  • Liquor and food storage (dry and cold)
  • Hostess stand and waiting area(s)
  • Coat storage of a minimum of 5 linear feet
  • Minimum of 3 wait stations with POS systems
  • Manager's office
  • Men's and Women's Restrooms - ADA compliant
  • Small janitor's closet

Conceptual Design:

Concept Statement - “The Hive... designed for relaxed order, celebrating the talents and industriousness of the Near North Side community.  A honey-inspired menu... sourced locally and served on two levels of dining.  The restaurant’s architecture honors history while the interior’s art-covered walls, warm tones, and geometric aesthetics welcome home the modern local.”

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Schematic Design:

Refinement of the design concept through sketching, exploration of spatial relationships (adjacency matrix, bubble and block diagrams), development of an initial furnishing concept and finish palette, and preparation of presentation renderings.

Design Development:

Finalization of the design concept through the development of scaled drawings and specification of all FF&E.