Chicago
,
IL USA

Momotaro

Restaurant & Bar
,
Est.
Chicago
,
IL USA
Restaurant & Bar
,
Est.

About

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.
Esquire

Best Restaurants of the Year

LOCATION
Chicago
,
IL USA
Size
11,500 ft² / 1,068 m²
CaTEGORY
Food & Beverage
Client
Boka Restaurant Group
Keys

Open Gallery

Central Sushi Bar

A large globe custom chandelier hangs above the sushi bar furnished with custom barstools reflecting a mid-century style.
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"...refined without being stuffy, polished but not precious."

Surface

Izakaya

The basement bar echoes the Yokocho alley scene: narrow alleys around the central bar, small “vendor’s stalls” divided by wood partition (lounge or high-top tables), dense and layered wooden post and beam structures, overhead fabric panels, patch-work stone flooring, and Japanese joinery details.
A 1960’s vintage public payphone from Japan sits outside the toilets. Pick up the phone and you will hear a random selection of audio clips from sources including: 50’s-60’s Japanese classic action movies, TV commercials, pop music, and Pink Film
Play

The Momotaro brand was inspired by the post-war salaryman lifestyle.

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OF

Awards & Accolades

Best Restaurants of the Year
Esquire
Best Restaurant Design - Finalist
James Beard Awards
Upscale Restaurant finalist
Hospitality Design Awards
Best New Restaurant finalist
Jean Banchet Awards
So Hot Right Now
Eater Chicago Awards
Chicago's Top 50 Best Restaurants
Chicago Tribune
"Breathtaking Japanese design."
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