Appearing in the April 1917 issue of Motor Mechanic is the sepia-toned image of an Indian motorcycle decked out with a pair of double-spoke Ackerman wheels. It was the vintage snapshot of these voluptuous loops of steel that inspired Karen Herold, principal of Chicago-based Studio K Creative, to dream up the chandelier that dominates the ceiling of Fulton Market newcomer the Betty. “We came across the photo in building our mood board, and we fell in love with it,” Herold says.
It is fitting that a motorcycle showcasing both refinement and durability would influence Herold’s design narrative for the Betty. This loungey tavern from Footman Hospitality — the good folks behind the city’s Bucktown Pub, Bangers & Lace and the Anthem — is the very embodiment of a mythical dame of the same name who exhibits compelling contrasts. “Betty” manages to pull off both enigmatic and accessible, as well as reserved and seductive, with equal aplomb. The design, then, reflects her conflicting personality, perfectly meshing the chandelier’s industrial, handcrafted appeal with leather, raw wood and plush velvet.
“It’s made from spring steel, which has a natural deep blue tone to it, so we left the metal unfinished,” Herold explains.
Besides the dramatic rippled light fixture, there are other old-timey features, like a barber chair, piano scrolls and vinyl records, to keep the visual interest of those patrons demolishing fried cauliflower with pineapple sofrito piqued.
Read more about restaurant design on Food Republic: