Old Chicago Prototype

Various Locations, North America


Craft Works, LLLC


In an effort to reduce building cost while enhancing their family-friendly and industrial brand identity. Craftworks tasked PCA with the challenge of upgrading design and concurrently reducing the footprint for their Old Chicago restaurant.


PCA worked with Craftworks to develop a scaled-down prototype that would reinforce Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom’s renown as “beer experts” featuring a wide variety of craft, local and microbrewery beer.

The central bar builds upon their brand, cementing Old Chicago as “the spot” for a pint with friends. The bar extends outside to the patio under an industrial-style awning. A garage-style glass door closes off the patio in winter months. Back inside, an abundance of taps, down-lit from above, display Old Chicago’s large variety of beer. Specially designed banners highlight the different types of beer stored in the keg cooler room, visible through red-filmed glass from the restaurant and bar.

The bar’s double-height ceiling space is lit by industrial style clerestory windows above, reminiscent of old Chicago warehouse design. The ceiling heights are lowered over restaurant seating to create a visual separation from the bar and provide a softer acoustic suitable for conversation between friends or comfortable family dinners.

PCA’s value-added approach creatively enhanced the Old Chicago brand while reaching Craftworks’ goal of reducing overall building costs by 20%. Varied ceiling heights now define areas within the restaurant rather than the walls used to carve out spaces in Old Chicago’s previous design. The lowered ceilings also provide space for kitchen storage. Functional items like the taps and keg room serve as central features in the space, reducing the need for additional decorative flourishes and finishes. Material costs were reduced by limiting the use of brick for the tower alone, rather than the entire exterior.