The Dill Pickle Co-op is Now Open: Grab a Cart

Categories:

Construction is finished on The Dill Pickle’s new space at 2746 N Milwaukee Ave and we’re excited to show it to you! We first designed the Dill Pickle’s original storefront on Fullerton Avenue back in 2009, but the store soon outgrew its cozy environs and wanted to offer more to its customers. Now several years later, we have completed construction on the DP’s new ten-times bigger home. 

Photos of the new space are below (all credits: moss)

This massive bowling alley is purported to have occupied the corner where the new Dill Pickle now lives.


You can see the expanded Pickle above, with tons of new shelving, spacious aisles, bright inviting colors and a brand new community area. Let’s take a quick trip back in time to explore the design process.

CONSTRUCTION

The Dill Pickle moved into a building formerly occupied by another retailer, and the spacious, blank-slate layout meant we had options galore to house the new pickle’s wares. We scooped out the interior, built sturdier walls, added sliding doors and several coats of colorful paint. Light fixtures galore were key, to create the best shopping experience possible.

Some construction snaps from the pickle during construction

Community Input Process

Back in 2016, we welcomed the community to give us their input on our design. Good design is great, but it’s only valuable if people enjoy interacting with it. We collected feedback via Community Input Stations, where we asked The Dill Pickle Co-op patrons and owners to chart their routes to The Pickle, tell us what they wanted to see in the expanded space and to select the types of groceries they were most likely to buy. Participants were also encouraged to comment on which part of The Dill Pickle’s mission statement they identified with most. The night was a rousing success, and the community input process deeply informed the final design, from what The Pickle sells at the deli, to the brands it stocks on its shelves. Speaking of shelves, we were able to reuse quite a few of them in the new store.

Key Features

Navigation is key in a grocery store, so we made the aisles extra wide to accommodate carts, kids, wheelchair users, and clusters of people running into each other (Logan Square is notorious for this). We located the hot bar and deli by the community area, so patrons looking to enjoy lunch or breakfast could easily find a place to sit. The bathrooms were a clear embodiment of Matt’s inclusive design that has been cited in the Huffington Post. Individual rooms, no awkward partitions, and a communal sink area. Oh and well lit. The bright tangerine, gender-neutral bathrooms offer privacy and hospitality to anyone who might visit The Dill Pickle. An on-site kitchen, previously impossible at its former space, has paved the way for hot and cold prepared foods, and all the extra space means a whole cooler dedicated to wine and beer.

DISPLAY AND SEATING TYPES
To revamp The Dill Pickle, we researched markets high and low to get a feel for aesthetics and layout. We pulled elements from our favorite images to craft concepts for the display and seating areas.

 

Concepts for seating and tables in the community room

A DELI COUNTER TO STAND UP TO DAILY USE
The deli counter design below is outfitted with maple, a hardwood that will stand up to unwieldy carts, kids and day-to-day usage. We walked through every process the counter might be used for, from a coffee stand for grab-n-go brews to a neat opening for refuse. The details are what make every piece of custom furniture truly work for its intended purpose.

 

TESTING TRANSPARENCY
Our concept for a partial wall delineating the community room experimented with different translucencies, materials, and heights. While we at first considered a full height wall with translucent material to block out ambient sound, we settled on a partial wall to meld the space with the rest of the store and keep it well lit from multiple sources.

 

Experimenting with different transparencies and heights for the community room

TRANSPORTATION FRIENDLY

Something that we really wanted to emphasize was how easy it is to travel to and from The Dill Pickle without a car. It’s easily accessible by bike (right on Milwaukee Ave), walking (it’s on a major street near lots of businesses and homes) or CTA. Hugging Spaulding, right near one of the Logan Square Blue Line entrances, one could walk for mere seconds from the Blue Line to the Dill Pickle. This is important for commuters since those organic squash weigh heavy on the muscles! Additionally, all of us car-free folks know how fun it is to go grocery shopping in a snowstorm (not!). Quick access from the train station to grocery store makes it easy to get chores done while staying comfortable and dry. A setback on Spaulding street scooped out room for pedestrians, which in combination with its reduced vehicle traffic made it a perfect place to get a glimpse at the DP’s wares and interior, so we made sure to orient the community room in that direction and plaster it with windows.

Make sure to stop by the new Dill Pickle Co-op Store for some old favorites and new items! We can’t wait to see you there.