Del Frisco’s Gives Chicago’s Esquire Theatre a Dramatic Second Act

In early December, Texas-based Del Frisco's Restaurant Group raised the curtain on its newest unit, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse in the old Esquire Theater building on Oak Street in Chicago.

A landmark in downtown Chicago since the 1930s, The Esquire was carefully renovated to restore its architectural integrity. Chicago-based Aria Group Architects incorporated iconic elements of the theater, including its marquee, into the three-level, 24,000-square-foot restaurant's design.

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In addition to the marquee, which hangs in the main floor lobby, the original Esquire neon sign hangs outside above the restaurant's own sign. Inside, the elegant and dramatic space features additional deco-style theatrical touches that honor the building's history, including old film reels made into lounge table tops and restrooms illuminated by movie-style spotlights. Among the restaurant's most dramatic features is a 500-magnum wine wall that serves as a prelude to a 2-story, 47-foot glass and steel wine tower with a spiral staircase inside. Because of its weight (estimated at 2 tons), which would have put too much pressure on the floor below it, the tower is suspended from roof trusses.

A custom deco-look chandelier made of wrought iron and glass beads fitted with LED lights cascades from the third floor to the second through an atrium sky light. Unique art installations, curved-back banquettes and tufted booths offer comfortable seating options. Colors are warm and earthy, and finishes of wood, wrought iron, stone, leather and soft fabrics work together to create a decidedly upscale yet inviting look and feel.

The Chicago Del Frisco's joins existing Double Eagle Steakhouse locations in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Las Vegas, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Charlotte and Denver.

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rdd Nov Dec 2017 cvr