Produce sourced from the Upper Midwest, natural wine, and provisions like cheese and charcuterie get the spotlight at the new, inviting, retro-inspired Brothers and Sisters.
Hospitality veterans Erin Carlman Weber (former events director for Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard’s Chicago restaurants) and Derek Herbster (who most recently oversaw the coffee program at Portsmith inside downtown Chicago’s Dana Hotel), founded Brothers and Sisters in partnership with Jonny Hunter, the James Beard-nominated, chef-activist behind Underground Food Collective in Madison, Wisconsin.
Nathan Warkentin, creative director at Los Angeles–based studio Original Action Group—he previously dreamed up the branding for Mast Brothers chocolate company—created the 1,500-square-foot space with nods to a slew of designers including Gae Aulenti, Jean Prouvé, and Milo Baughman.
Armed with a well considered business concept for Brothers and Sisters, Warkentin worked alongside the partners to help define the vibe. "Communal living and the notion of ‘chosen family’ was foundational to how we approached the design," says Warkentin. "The direction naturally fell into place based on our collective tastes. They were supportive of my ideas, even the ones that were a little out there."
Warkentin eagerly blended motley textures and finishes. Glazed brick wall tiles, for example, meld with cozy wood panelling and herringbone-patterned flooring. The centerpiece of Brothers and Sisters is the bar, where patrons perch on commodious stools and knock back lentil croquettes with canned beer.
Shop the Look
Crafted from Amazonite Quartzite, natural stone quarried in Brazil, the bar top "has a vibrant turquoise background with burgundy and beige veining. There couldn’t have been a better selection for this space. We knew this was the one at first sight," Warkentin points out.
Anamorphic cutting boards that call to mind Finnish designer Alvar Aalto’s supple glass Savoy vase and whimsical, hand-drawn characters woven into the branding capture Warkentin’s attention to detail. A striped Danish shag rug framed on the wall, as well as circa-1968 Verner Panton FlowerPot pendants, infuse Brothers and Sisters with a cheerful 1970s feel.
"The 1970s became an obvious touchpoint for this project," says Warkentin. "That era captured an eclectic, fun, and free spirit."
Visit Brothers and Sisters online.
Architect of Record: J. Kirk Irwin
Builder: Northwood Services, LLC
Interior Design: Nathan Warkentin, Original Action Group
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