Momotaro

SIZE: 11,500 Sq. Ft. / 1,068 Sq. Mtr.
LOCATION: Chicago, IL

Interiors, Custom Furniture & Lighting, Branding and Collateral Design

Momotaro’s design centers on the post-World War II era in Japan known as the “economic miracle” where traditional Japanese forms and materials merged with Western architecture styles.  During this time, the Japanese “salary man” was a prolific figure in his obsessive tendencies both in his daytime work life as well as his more indulgent evenings in the chaotic back alleys of Japan.  Key design elements exemplify this era and the salary man’s obsessive nature, including bathroom walls enveloped in 991,000 individual blue ink pen strokes done by a collaboration of art students, a drinks menu designed to evoke vintage brokerage boards, and massive two-story pendant lighting inspired by the formal qualities of a Sorabon (a device similar to an abacus).  A yokocho-style izakaya resides in the subterranean space with layered, vibrant retro graphics and a vintage 1960s pink payphone that plays a random selection of Japanese audio clips from movies, commercials, music, and pink films.

 

  • "Momotaro has to be one of the largest and most culturally ambitious food businesses to open. "
    Chicago Reader
  • "Chicago's modern version of the salaryman comes to life each night at tables filled with young finance and creative types, digging into sushi and sake; sophisticated foodies; and international Japanese travelers who feel right at home."
    Michigan Avenue
  • "'In our minds, they've always been our design crush,' says Boka Restaurant Group's Rob Katz of New York-based architecture and design firm AvroKO, the innovative company behind his and partner Kevin Boehm's newest project, Momotaro. And from the looks of the stunning West Loop multistoried Japanese restaurant, the feeling is mutual."
    CS Interiors
  • "What's refreshing is that Momotaro's aesthetic is neither the slick minimalism we've come to expect from high-end Japanese restaurants, or the kitschy neon craziness of Tokyo dive bars. The massive, 11,500 square-foot space feels refined without being stuffy, polished but not precious"
    Seamus Mullen, Surface magazine
  • "Breathtaking Japanese Design."
    Food & Wine

Accolades

  • Nominated - Best Restaurant Design over 76 Seats
    James Beard Foundation
  • Best Restaurants of the Year
    Esquire
  • Best Restaurant Design
    Jean Banchet Awards
  • Finalist, Upscale Restaurant
    Hospitality Design Awards
  • So Hot Right Now
    Eater Awards
  • No. 5, Chicago's Top 50 Best Restaurants
    Chicago Tribune