HOSPITALITY: MIXED USE
Fulton Market District, CH
Interior Design / Lighting / Fabrication /
Photo Credit: Eric Kleinberg
Blind Barber, a neighborhood barbershop and speakeasy-style lounge in NYC, has expanded its roots from LA to the Windy City. For the birth of their Chicago location, the well-groomed crew from Blind Barber sought out 555 International to design and build their new space in the heart of the Fulton Market District – one of the fastest-growing commercial districts in the country.
True to form, the space features a Barber Shop in the front and a hidden Lounge in the back, open nightly for curated cocktails, bites from their signature menu, and local DJs. Up front, the barber shop is clean-cut and a bit industrial, with repurposed iconic midcentury modern furniture and classic barber chairs taking center stage amongst crisp white walls, wood beam ceiling, and minimal décor. Custom fabricated metal wall cladding with warn erosion surrounds the barber mirrors, introducing just the right amount of grittiness to an otherwise pristine environment.
In the back, a non-descript door leads guests past a retro cigarette machine and swaged mohair drapes towards an unexpected transformation. Here lies the restaurant and cocktail lounge, an old-school escape inspired by retro cocktail bars and basement rec rooms of the past. The room pulsates with an unspoken swagger that rises to the surface through subtle touches and finishes.
Knotty pine wood paneling spans the walls, while deep vintage sectional couches and lounge chairs invite guests to sit and have a cocktail amongst low amber light. Even the main bar feels as though it’s been there for 50 years – surrounded by aged checkered flooring and vintage lamps and clocks – perfectly comfortable for even those flying solo.
Ultimately, the contrast between the bright and modern Barber Shop and the moody Back Lounge creates an interesting yin-yang effect, surprising and delighting guests as they are transported from a modern daytime grooming experience to a moody nighttime cocktail & lounge experience.