Chicago’s iconic Merchandise Mart, the colossal art deco multi-use office building in the city’s downtown Loop, has just received a culinary update thanks to local group DMK Restaurants, which has opened Marshall’s Landing atop the Grand Stair on the second floor with views overlooking the Chicago River.
Built in 1930 by department store Marshall Field & Co, the mammoth pile was initially home to the largest selection of furniture wholesalers and retailers, and was once the largest building in the world. Now better known as a hub for tech start-ups, the Mart has embraced the movement for agile working with an interactive restaurant meant as an extension of the workplace.
New York-based firm A+I has not strayed far for its inspiration, handpicking furnishings such as the Carl Hansen shell chairs and the navy high-back Allermuir seating right from the building’s design showroom tenants, while business-minded details include rich walnut communal tables and even Kallpod buttons meant to summon service when needed, keeping meetings undisturbed.
Open from 7am, an all-day menu that includes crowd-pleasers such as avocado on toast, mac ‘n’ cheese or a burger, can be sampled while ensconced in the tufted, curvy banquettes, while the coffee shop will keep laptop workers caffeinated with cold brews on draft.
A highlight though, is the bar, and its network of suspended brass pendant lights, where happy hour (which starts at 1pm on a Friday) is quickly drawing tenants from all over the building, with the promise of socialising with like-minded people while munching on popcorn and a glass of prosecco in hand.