A unique new lifesize comic-book restaurant is about to arrive in Chicago and it looks like nothing else we’ve seen before.
Chicago’s thriving hospitality scene is continuously serving up all manner of exciting new restaurants, bars, and venues. New culinary concepts and incoming restaurants from world-class chefs are announced weekly here in the Windy City.
The Spanish restaurant Jaleo from José Andrés, a ritzy new burger joint from Gordon Ramsay, and the futuristic X Pot featuring robot servers & 5D projections are just a few recent arrivals that have reminded us of Chicago’s credibility as a world culinary heavyweight.
One of the newest additions, however, polarizes the 5D futuristic experience and avant-garde approaches we’re used to, instead offering patrons an immersive, comic book-style experience made from 2D black-and-white illustrations.
After giving a soft launch this month, 2D Restaurant will soon celebrate its official grand opening on 02/22/2022 at 2:22 PM and give away 222 free Rainbow Pon De Ring donuts to the first 222 customers.
Dubbed “the first hand-drawn monochrome 2-dimensional illusionary restaurant in the USA” and “the most exuberant social media experience in town”, husband-and-wife co-owners chef Kevin Yu and designer Vanessa Thanh Vu have turned their premises at 3155 N. Halsted St into a life-size two-dimensional monochrome version of a Parisian restaurant. According to Vanessa Thanh Vu, who is behind the cafés enthralling aesthetics, the Parisian theme is inspired by the popular Netflix show Emily in Paris.
The hand-drawn 1,600 square-foot space has been made in collaboration with Chicago artist Mia Larson. Together Larson and Vu spent two years turning Vu’s design into reality creating a variety of different features using black paint markers.
Guests will now find a meticulously drawn balcony view of the Eiffel Tower, a library room where detailed bookshelves surround a roaring open fire, and an elegant 1920s hotel bathroom with an enormous bathtub amongst other scrupulously drawn features. A hand-drawn 300-square-foot patio space will also be added to the mix once the weather starts to warm up.
The menu, for the time being, focuses on coffee, doughnuts, and fried chicken and draws inspiration from Vanessa Thanh Vu’s Vietnamese background. Seven latte varieties and three phin-style options will be available. According to Yu, phin style coffee is “the perfect combination of French press coffee and drip coffee. It creates the most aromatic coffee and the purest flavor possible.”
The couple have also partnered with Chicago roastery Metropolis Coffee Company who will provide two different custom-made coffee blends.
The signature donuts meanwhile, known as ‘mochi donuts’, are a hybrid between the traditional American donut and the chewy Japanese rice cake known as mochi. There will be 13 different mochi donuts to choose from in a range of bright colors and fruity flavors like mango and passion fruit.
Ched Yu also hopes to add crunchy fusion fried chicken inspired by crispy poultry from Korea, Taiwan, and Japan to the menu in the coming weeks.
“We’re so thankful to be in the city of Chicago in the neighborhood of Lake view and we can’t wait to share the joy of the 2d restaurant with Chicago” said Kevin Yu in an interview with NBC.
2d restaurant is also partnering with Brave Space Alliance, the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ Center located on the South Side of Chicago and will donate its first-day profits to Brave Space Alliance during the 222 donuts giveaway while also accepting donations.
2d Restaurant is located at 3155 N. Halsted Street and, after the grand opening, will be open every day from 10 am, until 8 pm on Sunday-Thursday and until 9 pm Friday-Saturday. More information can be found at 2d-restaurant.com.