Luxury Dining Meets Retail At This Earthy Chicago Restaurant


Market area of a restaurant with shelving filled with bottles and a large spherical light fixture

Photo: Arturo Yepez

Combination retail shop and restaurant, Nettare, (Italian for nectar) is bringing an organically bold aesthetic, along with a Mediterranean-influenced menu, to West Town. Underscoring his focus on seasonality and sustainability, founder Conner O’Bryne turned to designer Aimee Wertepny of Project.—who collaborated with hospitality expert Aida Napoles of AGN Design—to infuse the venue with warmth and patina. Wertepny relied on neutrals and jewel-toned greens and blues along with reclaimed wood, polished concrete, plaster and natural textiles to create an earthy yet vibrant look. “Think heavy green velvet drapery at the entryway, a charred-wood tunnel to the chef’s table experience, and salvaged vintage doors painted with wild flora that lead to the dining room,” Wertepny says.

Other design elements include mosaic tile; leather and buckle detailing on the banquette seating; natural stone countertops; and custom tables and cabinetry by local millworker Dylan Martin Furniture. For a biophilic touch, the team lined one wall with living plants from Sprout Home. Says Napoles of the final design, “Nettare transports guests out of their urban surroundings into a serene dining experience.”