After bringing news the other day of what to expect from the cuisine at La Storia, today brings a look inside the as-yet-finished space. The upcoming "broad scope" Italian restaurant located in the Gold Coast is shooting for a late November / early December opening. Executive chef Justin Ferguson's desire is to replicate the feeling of eating at someone's home for guests.
Built in 1896, the former single family home has retained a great many of its exquisite details to this day. Build out began a year-and-a-half ago, long before Ferguson joined Ideology Entertainment at the beginning of 2014.
Upon entering, guests will first see the restaurant's bar and host stand before being whisked to a table on the main floor (which will seat roughly 60). From there it's a step out the back door to an idyllic garden patio that abuts against neighboring Table 52's. To the left of the main floor finds the surprisingly modest kitchen and then its back to the bar and up the staircase which leads to the second-floor dining area.
The upstairs will seat 45 and features a bump out bay window where a larger table will be placed to maximize the view of Dearborn Street below. The back room will be open for guests (somewhere between 15 to 20), but Ferguson says it's the perfect room to host private functions and wine dinners.
This back room features floor-to-ceiling hand-crafted wood work with built-ins that will be used to store wine ("as much as we can fit," Ferguson commented). The room is stunning in its current state and should be even more so once construction is complete. The restaurant's owners have a mill shop creating design elements to compliment the original hand-crafted wood work.
Murals from legendary political caricaturist Edward Sorel will line the walls on both floors. They feature Chicago luminaries ranging from historical (Al Capone), political (the Obamas), entertainment (John Belushi) and sports (Michael Jordan). They represent the final commissioned works of Sorel who, at age 85, plans to retire once they are complete.
Now that you've seen the space in its "before" state, return to see what it looks like "after" construction is complete.