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555 Reveals Designs for Balena

Balena Renderings
Balena Renderings
Photo: 555 International

The BOKA group and the owners of the Bristol have given us video hints of what to expect from their latest venture, Balena, but they have yet to reveal what the former Landmark space would actually look like once it underwent transformation. 555 International (GT Fish & Oyster, Tokio Pub, Perennial Virant) who will be designing the space, recently revealed their renderings and some detail about what to expect.

555 wanted the space to be comfortable and include many retro-Italian touches. This design begins on the outside of the building where the walls, white and covered in ivy, have been opened up by large arched windows framing the exterior. A sky-lit entrance greets you upon walking in to the main bar area, which is adorned with a custom, saddle stitched bar that seats 20. In the main dining room, to add to that comfortable worn-in look, they have placed an"old glory" large neon light installation. Restored wood tables and a ceiling that is covered with rusted birds nest light fixtures strewn with Christmas lights help complete the look. There will also be a large, custom-made Balena clock in the back of the dining room under the vaulted ceilings. Other elements of the main dining room include a grand feast table, a Champagne bathtub and separate private dining room.

The basement of Balena is a wine cellar available for private parties of no more than 36 people. The carved wood ceiling and natural arches create a cozy atmosphere. The mezzanine level, slightly elevated from the main dining room, will have a quaint dining area with seating for 40 and a colorfully tiled bar with seating for 20. On the way up to the mezzanine, guests will be able to peer into the semi-open kitchen through steel-barred windows. Now if only we could get a glimpse of the menu.

·Balena Premieres Video Teasing Upcoming Delivery Service


1633 North Halsted Street, , IL 60614 (312) 867-3888 Visit Website


1633 N Halsted, Chicago, IL

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