Restaurant companies have been giving the suburbs more attention during the pandemic, believing that towns outside of Chicago are ripe for investment. Now RH, the company formerly known as Restoration Hardware, is taking their formula that’s been made successful for the last six years in Gold Coast and heading to Oak Brook. Today, they unveil a glass-enclosed rooftop restaurant with wine bar on top of a three-level, 60,000-square-foot store at Oakbrook Center.
RH is the posh furniture store with a flagship location among the million dollar greystones in Gold Coast. In 2015, the store opened with a restaurant developed by Brendan Sodikoff, the founder of Hogsalt Hospitality (Au Cheval, Bavette’s). The in-house restaurant, 3 Arts Cafe, became an instant hit with long wait times inside a unique space under a skylight ceiling surrounded by plants and fountains. Three Arts became a trendy spot for afternoon get-togethers, and the space also had a coffeeshop where patrons could sip and snack on treats from Hogsalt’s Doughnut Vault as they waited for a table.
Sodikoff is no longer involved with RH, but 3 Arts continues to draw lunchtime crowds with natural lighting that happens to be friendly for the Instagram set while serving as a destination for tourists and suburbanites.
Now RH is bringing that scene to the suburbs while remodeling its Oak Brook shop in that mold. The restaurant features retractable walls and it leads up to a park where only drinks are permitted outdoors, for now. The space is, of course, surrounded by furnishings available to purchase. This synergistic philosophy is popular around Chicago. Crate & Barrel’s Oakbrook Center location features food from Urbanbelly chef Bill Kim. Lululemon operates a Lincoln Park shop where the sportswear retailer serves burgers and salads. Older entries include the legendary Walnut Room inside the Macy’s on State Street, and vegan fine dining spot Althea inside Nordstrom’s off the Mag Mile.
A mix of sharable plates — like burrata with oven-roasted tomatoes and charred sourdough — mingle with more robust fare like ribeye beef steaks and truffled grilled cheese. A burger that may remind diners of Au Cheval and Small Cheval remains on the menu which mirrors the restaurant’s older sibling in Gold Coast.
There’s also a wine bar with more than 40 selections by the glass. Customers can take their wine with them while exploring the building’s other two levels, or hangout on the patio. After all, a few sips might lead to an inspired purchase.
The garden features greenery including heritage olive trees, supposedly influenced by “the great classical gardens of Europe.” There’s also “trellised London plane trees” and “sculptured evergreens” to make guests feel they’ve selected a special spot to reconnect with the friends that they’ve lost contact with since the pandemic. There’s also fountains, a floating staircase, and plenty of sparkling chandeliers.
Walk through the space and check out the food items below. The new RH Oak Brook debuts today at Oakbrook Center.
RH Oak Brook, The Gallery at the Center, 1300 22nd Street, Oak Brook, store and restaurant open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.