First of Its Kind

Crate and Barrel is no longer just a shopping destination. It’s also a dining destination. The home furnishing brand’s latest venture is The Table at Crate, a full-service restaurant in Oak Brook, Illinois. The new concept blends a dining and retail experience into one cohesive space.

An Immersive Dining Experience

“As a longtime destination for all things home, we know that our customers love to entertain,” Neela Montgomery, CEO of Crate and Barrel, said in a statement. “We share that passion and The Table at Crate creates a more immersive brand experience for our customers.”

On Display

The Table at Crate is integrated into the retail space allowing guests to sneak over to the store before, during, or after a meal. Guests can choose a seat in the indoor or outdoor dining space or grab a seat at the bar. Throughout the restaurant, the latest Crate and Barrel products will be on display and in use. This strategy allows the brand to showcase and promote products in a practical way instead of customers only seeing them on a shelf.

The Design

“With the design process led by the experts at Crate and Barrel, including VP of Product Design and Development Sebastian Brauer, and Crate and Barrel’s in-house architecture and brand experience teams, the space is a true reflection of the Crate and Barrel brand: simply modern, uniquely stylish and always approachable,” the company said in a statement.

The Menu

Crate and Barrel partnered with Cornerstone Restaurant Group to create the innovative concept. James Beard-nominated chef Bill Kim is leading the kitchen. Kim has developed a menu that takes a plant-centric approach and celebrates Midwestern seasonality and a modern way of dining that is lighter, brighter and layered in herbaceous flavor. The menu is broken down into six parts: Bites, Garden, Greens, Tartines, Bowls, and Mains.

The Table at Crate will cater to a variety of guests including those who want a sit-down meal or a quick snack. Customers can pop over for a pastry and cup of coffee—or a cocktail—if they need a break from shopping.

Shop and Sip

The bar menu will feature seasonal cocktails made with housemade syrups and juices.

After ordering a cocktail at the bar, guests can bring their drinks along with them as they explore the retail space.

“The development of this restaurant is yet another way for Crate and Barrel to continue to surprise and delight its customers within a constantly evolving retail landscape,” the company said in a statement.

More Than Just a Restaurant

On top of the unconventional dining experience, Cornerstone and Crate and Barrel plan to draw in customers through special events. The partners plan to use the space for on-site interactive programming, like chef demos and cookbook dinners.

“There is a tremendous opportunity to push the boundaries of the restaurant and retail spaces,” Josh Zadikoff, president of Cornerstone Restaurant Group, said in a statement. “We are excited to deliver a new and unique experience for our guests, connecting them with creative food and classic design and celebrating the simple beauty of everyday dining.”

The space will be open for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, plus coffee service throughout the day.

Can the restaurant help drive traffic to the retail side? Cornerstone Restaurant Group has a history of developing experience-driven brands, including all Michael Jordan-brand restaurants: Michael Jordan’s Steak House (Chicago, Connecticut, New York, Portland), Michael Jordan’s Restaurant in Oak Brook, Michael Jordan’s 23.sportcafe (Connecticut), and SolToro Restaurant (Connecticut).

The modern design of the restaurant mirrors Crate and Barrel’s aesthetic.

Customers can engage the concept in multiple ways, depending on how they want to experience the setting overall.

Like the food, the cocktails will take cues from the seasons, with a dedication to housemade syrups and juices.

NextGen Casual, Restaurant Design, Slideshow