In one of the most respect, Chicago’s live music venues, standing respectfully alongside Schuba’s Tavern, the Chicago institution that inspired its creation, Tied House is a modern celebration of the Lakeview neighborhood’s historic icon. From the careful articulation of the neo-Gothic detailing in Schuba’s brick façade to the mirroring layout that orchestrates a contrasting arrival experience, Tied House is truly a reinvention of the bar decor ideas and its legacy in a contextual form.
Gensler Chicago worked tireless to create breathing room for the historically-listed tavern and incorporated Schuba’s ornamental brickwork into Tied House’s backlit brick screen exterior to immediately tie the story into the adjacent, incorporating traditional taverns materials – brick patterning, mosaic tile and wood flooring, copper accents, custom ceiling tile, and lighting fixtures inspired in this period.
The new structure’s basement would include a luxurious green room for talent, something that Schubas lacked. At 12,000 square feet, it’s larger than Schubas, but both use orange brick.
On the upper level of Tied House, window walls are partially concealed behind a brick screen laid out in an X pattern, a nod to the brickwork next door. On the ground level, Schubas has arched windows, whereas Tied House’s floor-to-ceiling glass is more open to the street.
Inside, traditional tavern materials such as wood flooring, copper accents, and mosaic tiles sit beneath a network of oversized custom-molded ceiling panels inspired by the pressed tin ceiling in Schuba’s. Bar colour scheme of deep evergreen, light ash, and stark white surround the Calacatta gold marble central bar and create a sense of warmth and openness.
Although the bar room is purposely similar in size and shape to the antique wooden bar at Schubas, the new one is Calacatta gold marble, selected for both its heft and gold veining. The other is a tufted leather-upholstered banquette that wraps a corner of the dining area design, absorbing sound and complementing the dark-green painted paneling on one wall and the Venetian plaster on the other. Oversize molded panels cover much of the ceiling, a response to the tin ceiling at Schubas.
You can notice a few bar design references to the past that are more mid-century modern in the upstairs space for private events. The contract furniture, scavenged from thrift stores, can be easily moved into different configurations depending on what’s taking place.
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