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09.23.2011
Open> Restaurant
Tribute by Steven Dandrea and Houts Architects in Chicago.
Mr. Lee Photography / Courtesy Tribute

Tribute
800 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago
Tel: 312.957.0000
Designer: Steven Dandrea
Interior Design: Houts Architects

Located in the midcentury Essex Inn, Tribute offers “classic American comfort food with a twist,” according to owner Phil Fernandez. Working with interior designer Steven Dandrea and architect Randy Houts, Fernandez sought to create a space that acknowledged the restaurant’s modern setting while capturing the warmth of a home. The team also wanted to use recycled or reclaimed finishes wherever possible, in keeping with the overall sustainable agenda of the hotel.  They started by clearing out the space and opening up floor-to-ceiling views of Grant Park. A Pop-inspired partition divides the dining room from the bar/lounge area, which also features a chef’s table on an elevated platform. “We wanted to create two distinct areas but still be able to feel the activity throughout the space,” Fernandez said. Chairs at the chef’s table feature woven seats made from recycled seatbelts, while Jacobsen-inspired chairs and barstools are used throughout the dining room. Three large-scale custom light fixtures, fabricated by Salvage One, combine elements like old streetlights, wood barrel-ribs, and strips of vintage movie film serving as light diffusers.

Alan G. Brake