Avec’s owners will unveil a new 40-seat private event space and bar next month on the second floor of their iconic West Loop restaurant. Besides giving wedding planners and couples another space to compete over, the expansion also gives Avec a stylish holding pen for customers waiting for their tables at the bustling 55-seat restaurant.
Parent company One Off Hospitality bought the four-story Avec building in 2015 and a news release touts that there’s “two more floors to fill.” Sounds like this is the first phase of expansion. The private event space will officially open on Sept. 15, and it’s inspired by Mediterranean wine caves. Diners can grab a glass of wine upstairs and wait for their tables, if the space isn’t booked with an event. Avec shared the 2005 Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Restaurant Design.” One Off hired the same designer responsible for the downstairs, Thomas Schlesser, to design the second floor.
One Off partner Donnie Madia told the Tribune that his 14-year-old restaurant struggled with accommodating larger groups of 10 to 20 and the expansion is a solution. There’s a full kitchen upstairs. Private events will call for special menu items. Dinner parties can preorder larger dishes like roasted lamb shoulders in advance from One Off Executive Chef Paul Kahan and Avec chef Perry Hendrix.