Chicago Outdoor Dining Design Challenge Winners Announced by City: Block Party, Cozy Booths, Heated Tables


CHICAGO (WLS) – The city chose three winners from more than 600 submissions to its Winter Dining Challenge. The judging team chose three models that “capture the spirit of Chicago while providing achievable and safe options for Chicagoans can enjoy dining out when temperatures drop, ”according to a city statement.RELATED: Chicago Restaurants Hope New Illinois Small Business Grants Keep Them Open

The winners are Cozy Cabins by Amy Young, Block Party by Neil Reindel and Flo Mettetal and Heated Tables by Ellie Henderson.

Young’s design used parking spaces for small adjoining modular “cabins”.

“Our idea for Cozy Cabins focused on creating a warm and welcoming experience to encourage Chicagoans to dine safely rather than take out,” said Young of ASD | SKY said in a statement. “We wanted to create an outdoor destination centered on new experiences, neighborhood ties and a sense of community elements lost by eating at home. We hope this idea will help support small businesses and bring people together safely during this difficult year.

Reindel and Mettetal took a flexible approach with their design, which could be implemented for many different sites and street designs. They were inspired by children’s blocks, designing reinforced plastic cubes with radiant heated mesh to keep diners comfortable outside in winter and beyond. “We were really trying to infuse a quality of play like blocks or Legos, hence the” block party “,” said Reindel.

“It could be movable blocks and adapted to a parking lane or a parking space or a pocket park that they could support,” Mettetal said.

Henderson modified Japanese Kotatsu as an economical way to warm up when the weather outside is scary.

The winners of the Winter Design Challenge will each receive a cash prize of $ 5,000.

The Illinois Restaurant Association will also work with IDEO to select local construction companies to prototype the winning designs and build them in restaurants through a pilot program.

This pilot program will be administered by the IRA and will be funded with funds that BMO Harris has contributed.

“We expected the Winter Design Challenge to attract a lot of great ideas, but the number of unique and innovative suggestions was staggering,” David Casper, president and CEO of BMO Harris Bank said in a statement.

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