moss design bar pastoral

A Little Bit of Loire Valley in Chicago: Bar Pastoral Opens


Our latest project, Bar Pastoral— the new wine and cheese bar of Pastoral founders, Ken Miller and Greg O’Neill—opened on November 12, revealing dishes inspired by the partners’ obsessively good collection of cheeses and wines.

Ken and Greg’s vision was for the space to be a natural extension of their Pastoral retail stores, inviting customers to get ideas for enjoying Pastoral’s products in their own home in an atmosphere excellent for relaxed dining and conversation. We designed Bar Pastoral with this in mind, transforming a narrow Lakeview storefront into a warm, rustic space that was inspired by our trip to Loire Valley, France.

Making the Most of The Space

To make the very narrow building we were dealing with feel as spacious as possible, we put in a barrel vaulted ceiling, which in addition to bringing the feel of a cheese and wine cave to Chicago, helps diffuse light, making the space feel wider than it is.

moss design ted harris lamps

moss design Ted Harris

World Cheese, Local Materials

Just as Ken and Greg curate the finest products from around the globe, we seek out the most unique materials and artisans from in and around Chicago to create a cohesive space with a lot of local character. The light fixtures, created from reclaimed butter churn handles and milking machinery were dreamed up by local artisan Ted Harris, and the natural plaster finish was applied by Chicago artisan Anna Wolfson, both of whom share our enthusiasm for materials and methods that are kinder to the environment.

moss design bar pastoral

moss design bar pastoral

We reused the storefront metal trim to line the edges of the custom round table towards the back of the space, and the gorgeous custom bar top is antique oak. The custom herringbone wine shelves are reclaimed Black Walnut barnwood from Cambridge, IL.

At moss, we try to create authentic, individualized and culturally-inspired threads in our architecture. This project in particular honors the preservation of the most meticulous and high quality traditional methods for creating wines and cheeses, and we are happy to be a part of encouraging small batch, slow food production, and celebrating the unique gift of local Chicago artisans to give Bar Pastoral a local, yet global feel.

To read more about aesthetic choices and influences on Bar Pastoral, read our post about starting construction on the project.


General Contractor: InFocus Builders

Plaster: Anna Wolfson

Movie: Nick Martin Film

Downlights:    WAC Lighting

Directional spotlights: Tech Lighting

Pendants:    Reclaimed from Architectural Anarchy and Urban Remains

Custom Pendants: Ted Harris

Banquette:    Custom designed by moss

Main bar counter:    Circular Sawn Antique Oak from Viridian Reclaimed Wood

Cheese bar:   Soapstone top with reclaimed tin front

Bar footrests:    Hot rolled steel, custom designed by moss

Door hardware:    Schlage

Wood cladding:    Reclaimed Douglas Fir from Viridian Reclaimed Wood

Plumbing fixtures:    Kohler

Restroom sink:    Soapstone, custom designed by moss

Flooring: Reclaimed black walnut from Carlson’s

Wine shelf:   Reclaimed black walnut, Custom designed by moss

Shelves: Hot rolled steel

Restroom tile:    The Tile Shop