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Brand Bureau

  • Itoko


    Chicago, il

    Tasteful, timeless,
    teahouse-inspired aesthetics.


    To develop the “cousin restaurant” to Momotaro, a beloved and established Japanese restaurant downtown


    Environment Design

    • Concept Design
    • Schematic Design
    • Design Intent
    • Construction Oversight


    Boka Restaurant Group, Photography

    The Approach

    Chef Gene Kato’s Lake View restaurant embraces its location. Inspired by Japanese teahouse design, it’s a go-to spot equally suitable for a drink or special occasion—with soft, warm colors, rhythmic and restrained materiality, and a bar right in front.

    The Expression

    Beautiful, balanced, bleached-wood divider screens segment the space while maintaining connectivity. Scalloped and fish-scale patterns and motifs allude to Chef Kato’s stunning seafood creations, resulting in a Japandi(Japanese and Scandinavian) expression of welcome.

    The Space

    Designed to fit within the footprint of a former bowling alley, the long, narrow space holds three sections: a bar, a Hollywood booth area, and a dining room—anchored by a fish counter offering sightlines to the kitchen.