BBQ Thyme

  • Location(s): Chicago, IL
  • Project Includes: Conceptual

One of the most heavily impacted industries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been the hospitality and service industry, namely restaurants. How does a restaurant provide delicious food and satisfying experience to their customers without compromising the safety of patrons or staff? For NEWH’s 2020 Hospitality design competition, Aria Group tackled that new dilemma in the midst of the pandemic. In conjunction with designs for a pandemic city plan and a fine dining experience, we pursued the idea of BBQ Thyme, a casual, green-barbeque concept, with five key concept ingredients:

  • Carry-out & Delivery — in the age of a global pandemic, building in options for low or no-contact transactions is crucial. We accommodated the growing demand with two pickup windows as well as a large carry-out room offering a visual connection and experience with the rest of the restaurant.
  • Retail & Reinvent — expanding the retail market beyond the dining room with retail space for sauces, dry rubs, and bottled cocktails
  • Technology & Flow — integrating touchless technology and a uni-directional traffic flow in order to ensure the safety and peace of mind of employees and guests
  • Human & Humble — recognizing dining and social interaction as building blocks of the human experience. We brought out the human connection to the environment with natural light and air circulation. This concept also allows for various unique experiences meant to accommodate each patron’s level of comfort, whether that means physically sharing a space or visually connecting through layered spaces.
  • Green & Grow — utilizing plant integration in space separation and as cues for directional flow. This adaptive reuse concept also houses two gardens with which the kitchen can supplement spice rubs, side dishes, and garnishes.

This space offers a fresh perspective on a post-pandemic world and imagines a prosperous, community-driven future for the establishment. So much of our human culture is centered around the sharing of food, so we developed a way to shape that appropriately no matter the circumstances