Industrial Farmhouse Aesthetic Comes to Lincoln Park Brunch Spot: 2 Sparrows Restaurant


Merging Sustainable Agriculture and Modern Architecture, we wanted this design to speak to the industrial and traditional roots of the Chicago food industry, while responding to the unique mission of 2 Sparrows. Similar to how a sparrow builds a nest by collecting building elements from nearby, we assembled the space for this seasonally driven, gastro-brunch restaurant with building components collected from Chicago. This approach resulted in an industrial farmhouse aesthetic rooted in Chicago restaurant classicism, perfectly calibrated for food production and enjoyment. The architectural design of 2 Sparrows echoes the sustainable agriculture ethos of the restaurant and complements the food and products from local farmers, artisans, distillers, and brewmasters offered at the restaurant. Product list and photos inside.

Our design took the 100-year-old limestone building and gave the interior a functionally modern aesthetic while highlighting the existing historic elements. The dark innards of the former eyeglass shop were strategically stripped to expose the building’s natural structure of concrete columns, concrete floors, plaster, and clay tile ceiling.  We wanted to bring new life into the building for this restaurant, so we opened up the interior to increase the amount of natural light to accentuate its beautiful natural attributes.

Owners Greg Ellis and Steve Fladung, both formerly of Charlie Trotter’s, charged us with creating the design of 2 Sparrows to match its mission of sustainable agriculture with a creative use of reclaimed materials and industrial-modern aesthetic. In response we utilized reclaimed hickory for the ceiling and wall finish, salvaged glazing panels from the ReBuilding Exchange, and even created a bar top crafted from a felled urban tree sourced from Horigan Urban Forest Products .  The sustainable design effort also leveraged the creativity and craft of local Chicago artisans.  The blown glass pendant light shades and restroom sink basin (which rests upon a reclaimed wood counter) were created by Prodigy Glassworks in Oak Park, IL.  All the custom steel and cabinetry was also crafted in Chicago. The inventive ‘Charcuterie Bar’ is constructed of waste pieces of hickory, stainless steel, and a custom hot rolled steel footrest. Meanwhile, the reclaimed leather and wood custom banquette seating was used to reinforce the classic Chicago dining tradition. The design collaboration between client, architect, and artisans resulted in a modern aesthetic with sustainable materials and design practices to create a uniquely eclectic space.


General Contractor: builder
Downlights:    Juno, Lithonia
Directional spotlights:    WAC Lighting
LED cove lighting:    Versa bar
Monorail lighting:    Tech Lighting
Pendants:    Custom glass shade by Prodigy Glassworks
Banquette:    Custom designed by moss Design
Main bar counter:    Salvaged honey locust from Washington Park via Horigan Urban Forest Products
Charcuterie bar:    Stainless steel
Bar footrests:    Custom designed by moss Design, hot rolled steel
Bar fronts:    Custom designed by moss Design, Patterned Reclaimed Hickory
Kitchen doors:    Chase
Door hardware:    Baldwin, Schlage
Wood cladding:    Reclaimed Hickory
Kitchen equipment:    True, Imperial
Plumbing fixtures:    Toto
Restroom sink basin:    Custom glass fixture by Prodigy Glassworks
Restroom counter:    Reclaimed Hickory
Reclaimed glass:    ReBuilding Exchange
Shelves:    Hot rolled steel
Restroom tile:    The Tile Shop
Signage:    Custom designed by moss Design