Client: Chef Rick Bayless, Frontera Restaurants
Project: Cruz Blanca
Location: Chicago, IL
Rick Bayless’ brewery and taqueria, Cruz Blanca, balances industrial, rustic, and modern sensibilities; maximizing natural light and views of the Chicago skyline, to create a contemporary interpretation of the Mexico City brewery of the same name established in the mid-1800s. Requiring a complete gut renovation, the 19th century produce market building includes dramatic interlocking spaces that feature reclaimed wood floors, rich green and black earthenware tiled walls and architectural details in bronze/black oxide industrial glazing. Space planning for the project focused on maximizing the interplay between public dining spaces and brewery and kitchen operations across three floors. Pub-style ground floor dining affords guests a view of the glass-enclosed two story brewery just off of the chalkboard-clad kitchen which is open on two sides. Second floor dining offers patrons a behind-the-scenes view of grain preparation and specialty aging rooms from upholstered booths and banquettes under the warm glow of industrially-inspired custom light fixtures. LEED certified silver winner of a Chicago Landmarks Award.