Take a good look at the raw warehouse space in these photos. In a few months it will be transformed into Momotaro, a sleek bi-level Japanese restaurant from the Boka Restaurant Group.
What you see in the photos is the first and second floors and the basement in their current un-built state, as well as features that drew Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz to snatch the space off the market. Katz and Boehm say they were drawn to the building because of its "soulful" elements, high ceilings, columns, exposed brick, and overall layout, in addition to its location between Randolph Row and Fulton Market that they believe will become Chicago's version of New York's Meatpacking District.
When finished, the space will feature a lounge, 30-foot bar, izakaya, robata grill, and dining room on the first floor. The second floor will house a private dining room and the Boka offices. The basement will house a bar and a separate entrance.
A section of the second floor will be removed to create a two-story, 25-foot bar area decorated with art inspired by the Tokyo Stock Market brokerage board.
Much of the space will utilize Japanese art and touches, such as stamps, panel art, ballpoint pen, and street market inspirations.
Boehm and Katz chose the name, a Japanese tomato variety, because it's also the basis for one of the dishes—a momotaro tartare. It's also named for the Japanese folk legend Momotaro.
Construction will begin the first week of January; they hope to open in June. Stay tuned.
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