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555 International | Design, Fabrication, and Management Services
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Located in the Loop amongst the iconic theaters and the hustle and bustle of downtown is Francois Frankie. The space is transportive, inviting guests to ride and take a sip on the carousel, Chicago’s only spinning bar. While bar patrons spin, diners look on in a space is reminiscent of a European courtyard with a classic carousel as the prominent eye’s gaze, shining brilliantly and spinning unassumingly.


The Loop, CH

Interior Design / Product Design / Art Installation / Engineering / Custom Lighting / Millwork / Metal CNC

Photo Credit: Eric Kleinberg

555 was tasked with the unique request to develop a rotating carousel bar and restaurant space inspired by the concept of the Hotel Monteleone New Orleans. Beyond the engineering and fabrication of the rotating bar, we were challenged to implement a fresh perspective on the traditional notion of carousels in the design. Throughout the process Frankie evolved into a character who lives a colorful life that transcends fictitious and present realities, which allowed the concept to naturally unfold and transmit a carefree and regal spirit within the interior.


A lounge space backdropped with pewter fringe curtains and upholstered with lush velvets set the tone in a sophisticated spectrum palette. The carousel is the jewel of the space, brightly lit and crowned with playful illustrations of Frankie at play in his usual antics. A deep aubergine ascends into a hazy sky in subtle gradient plaster panels trimmed along the lengths of the dining room walls. Bentwood armchairs throughout the center create a sense of sitting aside a classic carousel in a courtyard or an outdoor plaza underneath a web of trellised string lights. The mirrored cladding along the back walls blur the extents of the room and create a sense of grandeur as it reflects the carousel from all views; classic in detail and whimsical in spirit. 

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