superkhana international

Photo by MIchelle Kanaar

Photo by MIchelle Kanaar

location: Chicago, IL

date: 2019

type: renovation, commercial

role: designer, custom finishes & fixtures

Superkhana International is the first restaurant by Bombay Breakdown chefs Yoshi Yamada and Zeeshan Shah, along with their partner and acclaimed chef Jason Hammel. Their food brings together their collective experience and love of Indian food and cooking, but with their unique, modern take. The space consists of a 12 seat bar, 40 seat main dining room, 20 secondary/private dining room, a 20 seat interior courtyard, a large open kitchen, and basement prep area.

Starting with a raw and refined palette of concrete floors, limewashed masonry walls, and oiled douglas fir veneer plywood ceilings, accents of loud and patterned textiles were layered throughout. Growing out of research into traditional Indian textiles and patterns (and thanks to Nest Magazine), I landed on the somewhat ubiquitous chintz pattern as an entry point into how to bring those elements into the project. By taking devalued deadstock fabric and combining it with a plant-based dying process - in this case using logwood extract with an alum mordant - the mass-produced fabric was imbued again with a handcrafted and completely unique quality. This fabric was combined with contemporary fabric imported from India in other elements throughout the restaurant to help blur the lines and layer the various textures.

The main space features a commissioned wall-size canvas painting by New Delhi-born painter Kaveri Raina, formerly based in Chicago and now in New York City. After being studio neighbors for 3 weeks at an Ox Bow residency in 2016, I was hoping there would be some way for us to work together again, and her work could not have fit more perfectly in this project.

The general contractor for the project was Integrus, and custom millwork by Typic Woods (Adam Sherman). Graphic design and branding was by The MP Shift. Chairs and stools are from Muuto. Kitchen layouts and equipment were by Olympic. Interior and exterior plantings are by Bottle and Branch. Architect of Record for the project was Jeanna DiMaria Architecture. Adaptive Operations created all custom lighting as well as select furnishings and finishes, with assistance from Andi Crist.

Photos below are by Barry Brecheisen via Eater Chicago, except for the first one which is by Michelle Kanaar via Chicago Tribune