Why Crate and Barrel Is Opening Its First Full-Service Restaurant

For more than half a century, Crate and Barrel has made playing host a relatively achievable feat. Long known for its accessible and seemingly endless assortment of home goods, the brand is now introducing its latest offering, which is up a different alley (or aisle): a full-service restaurant where customers can see its products in action. Occupying two indoor and outdoor levels of the Chicago retailer’s Oak Brook, Illinois, store, The Table at Crate fully realizes the brand’s modern casual dining ethos in both menu and ambience. The restaurant, which opens this month, also marks the first retail venture for Cornerstone Restaurant Group, with whom Crate and Barrel has collaborated.

A closer look at some of the venue's light fixtures.

Photo: Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

“Entertaining has always been extremely important to Crate and Barrel, as evidenced in our product assortment throughout history," Sebastian Brauer, Crate and Barrel’s new VP of product design and development, tells AD PRO. "We are a company that began by helping customers set their tables.” Since joining Crate and Barrel in December 2018, Brauer has drawn upon his background in home, fashion, and global artisan design development to diversify the brand’s merchandise and deepen the stories it tells. For The Table at Crate, this meant furnishing the retailer’s signature white shell space with some of its iconic pieces in bolder colors, patterns, and materials. Marble textures, light wood, vegetable-tanned leather, and velvet mohair are among the fresh finishes, and almost all of the items used in the restaurant are available for purchase—or will be in the near future.

A variety of seating types fill the space.

A variety of seating types fill the space.

Photo: Courtesy of Crate and Barrel