Exposed beams, reclamined wood, and clean lines frame the homespun charm of 2 Sparrows.
Courtesy Ryan Moore Photography

2 Sparrows
553 West Diversey Parkway
Tel: 773.234.2320
Designer: Moss Design

The goal behind the architecture of the new Lincoln Park restaurant, 2 Sparrows, was to create a comfortable atmosphere that matched the comfort of the food. Chicago-based architecture firm Moss Design found many ways to tie into the sustainable aspect of the farm-to-table restaurant’s philosophy. Exposed beams, reclaimed wood, and clean lines dominate the overall look of the space. However, the biggest influence on the design was the exploration of ways for the public to visually engage with preparation of the food. The storefront glass is an aperture through which pedestrians can view sausage and pasta being prepared by the restaurant’s chef. Moss Design principal, Matt Nardella, believes the design also makes a playful connection to the 2 Sparrows brand. “We treated our material sourcing as a bird would build its nest, by finding nearby materials to craft a home,” he said.

The minimalist detailing plays off the functional aesthetics of farm equipment. Nardella picks up on those themes when designing and selecting materials such as the bar front, which is composed of leftover pieces of the reclaimed hickory used in the rest of the space. Rugged steel is used to frame reclaimed glass, shelve canned vegetables, and provide footrests at the bar. Compatible with sustainable farming ideas, the space offers efficiency and minimal waste, creating visual clues to the restaurant’s mission.