Water Tower Place Gets Two New Tourist Attractions

HarryCaray 2

Oprah may have left the building, but the late Harry Caray is only just moving in.

The chain of eateries started by the late sportscaster will soon open a new outpost in Water Tower Place (835 North Michigan Avenue) along with a sports museum.

Englewood Construction did the heavy lifting to make it happen, and sent along this press release about the project:

Englewood Construction Food Service and Restaurant Group Completes Harry Caray’s Restaurant, Sports Museum in Chicago
National general contractor also remodels test kitchen of world-renown chefs, delivers vegan restaurant to Chicago’s South Side
CHICAGO (April 14, 2014) – Englewood Construction, one of the country’s leading commercial construction firms, has announced its food service and restaurant group has completed Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch and the Chicago Sports Museum in Chicago’s Water Tower Place. The national general contractor has also completed two other food projects, a test kitchen and training facility for US Foods in Wixom, Mich.; and a Native Foods Café in Chicago’s Hyde Park. Englewood is working with Native Foods Café and US Foods to roll out their concepts nationally.

“Our food service group has experienced robust growth in recent months as restaurants, grocery stores and food-related businesses have been bolstered by surging consumer demand,” said William Di Santo, president of Lemont, Ill.-based Englewood Construction. “With Englewood’s extensive experience in food service, we expect to see much more of this work throughout 2014.”

On Level 7 of Water Tower Place, Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group hired Englewood to build a massive new complex that pays tribute to Harry Caray, the legendary baseball broadcaster renowned for his seventh-inning stretch singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at Chicago Cubs games.

The 22,928-square-foot complex houses Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch, a restaurant serving American cuisine, and the new Chicago Sports Museum. The high-energy destination, which opened April 2, combines dining, entertainment, private event venues and retail. Designed by the Chicago-based firms Barker/Nestor Architecture + Design and Ingrassia Design, the urban industrial aesthetic pays homage to Chicago’s historic Water Tower.

“Harry Caray connected so personally with Chicago sports fans, and we were careful to ensure his rich, deep personality resonates throughout the space,” Di Santo said.

The dark wood walls of the 250-seat restaurant and bar are covered with photographs from Harry Caray’s private collection as well as authentic sports memorabilia. HDTVs throughout the space will be tuned to sports channels. Newly installed windows offer views of the city skyline to the north and the east.

The complex’s 8,000-square-foot museum features five exhibits, from unraveled sports mysteries to a hall of legends. It will “offer a highly interactive experience for visitors to explore the legends and lore of Chicago sports,” according to a release from Harry Caray’s.

In addition to this downtown Chicago destination, Englewood has also recently completed two other food projects, one in Michigan and the other in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

Rosemont, Ill.-based US Foods, Inc., a leading food company and distributor to restaurants, healthcare, hospitality, government and educational facilities, hired Englewood Construction to remodel its test kitchen and training facility in Wixom, Mich. In early March, Englewood completed the interior remodel of the space to accommodate the latest kitchen and training equipment. Wisconsin-based ESI Design Services was the project architect.

“US Foods relies on its test kitchens to produce cutting-edge new products, of which it currently offers 35,000 to its clients,” said Di Santo. “This was an exciting opportunity for Englewood to deliver an environment that generates creativity and will allow US Foods to continue to be one the leading innovators in the food industry.”

US Foods operates more than 60 test kitchens across the country where US Foods chefs help customers stay abreast of culinary trends, increase sales and manage costs.

In Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, Englewood recently completed an interior build-out for Native Foods Café. Located at 1518 E. Harper Court, this is the fourth location in Chicago for the fast-casual vegan restaurant chain. Chicago-based Norr Illinois Inc. was the project architect.

“Fast casual concepts have performed well in recent years, especially those with unique and fresh ideas that stand out in the market,” said Di Santo. “Native Foods has made major inroads into the Chicago area and this new Hyde Park location should be an excellent fit for its target demographic of socially-conscious diners.”

Native Foods Café provides seasonally inspired dishes, desserts and homemade beverages. Its entire menu is 100 percent plant-based.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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