Logan Square Kitchen

Saturday, May 16th, 2009
2333 North Milwaukee Ave.

2333 North Milwaukee Ave.

Address: 2333 North Milwaukee Ave. 

Project’s Blog: Zina Murray Logan Square Kitchen 

Architect: Space Architects and Planners


Kitchen Designer: Jeff Carlin

Structural: Jeff Pribyl

Contractor: Chas Bender Company

Written By Katherine Darnstadt

Logan Square Kitchen is more than a commercial kitchen and 75-seat evet space that happens to be designed sustainably; it is a community incubator that will provide social and public health benefits that are beyond the scope of LEED. Scheduled to open in July 2009, the zero-waste Logan Square Kitchen is the creation of Zina and Nick Murray and will be a shared sustainable urban food facility for a start-up catering businesses with three separate full service work areas that can be rented by the hour. The project intends to set the bar for a LEED Gold Commercial Interior renovation with nearly 100 square feet of recycling and composting storage, 43% less water consumption through the use of low flow fixtures and dual flush toilets, as well as super high efficient heating, cooling and controllable lighting systems. The highly efficient hot water heater is planned for future expansion to solar thermal. More than 75% of construction waste will be recycled.

Floor Plan

Floor Plan

The space occupies the first floor and basement of a 90-year-old three flat on Milwaukee Avenue within a five-minute walk of the California Blue Line Elevated Stop. The first floor commercial space is bisected in half, the front half facing the street will accommodate a 75-seat restaurant and the back half consists of the commercial grade kitchen. The basement will hold additional storage and two additional restrooms for restaurant and staff use. The space can host both private and public events in addition to independent contractors using the kitchen.

A typical day in the life of Logan Square Kitchen might include a community nutrition and cooking class in the morning, several teams of emerging bakers using the kitchen to prepare desserts for sale in other establishments during a three hour block in the afternoon, and a start-up catering company using the entire kitchen to create a five course meal for a company dinner staged in the front dinning room.

Innovative strategies to reduce overall energy consumption in the kitchen include a variable rate hood over the convection ovens. This was a suggestion of the Mechanical Engineer, Sachin Anand of dbHMS. Close coordination and a project team open to suggestion also eliminated the need to remove and replace the existing roof over the kitchen with a new steel roof. The roof instead will be reinforced which has reduced overall costs and aligned more closely with the owner’s mantra “to have as little impact on the environment as possible.” The largest and most noisy project in the 4,000-square-foot space is the removal and eventual reuse of the existing concrete floor in the kitchen space. Part of the concrete has been removed to create access to basement storage space and additional bathrooms on both the basement and first floor. All project debris is closely tracked as part of the LEED Certification process and 90% of this concrete will be crushed into gravel and reused throughout the project.

Reclaimed Materials

Reclaimed Materials

Material reuse is one of the largest components of the final aesthetic of the space. The truly integrated project team is constantly scouring buildings, dumpsters and back alleys for items that can be used. With the aid of mapping technology, Internet and cell phones, an item spotted by one team member will be picked up by another and then stored by a third. Currently on site, tile, lighting fixtures, salvaged doors, chairs and furniture pieces are carefully stored under plastic for final installation. Over 50 doors have been salvaged from other adaptive reuse projects across the city and will be repurposed in various ways, from tabletops to wall coverings.

The project team, particularly the owner, has exercised extreme patience to realize this project. Choosing the architect stretched from one month to four, administrative changes in the Green Permit process had the design team meeting with four different managers starting under Erik Olsen, the original founder of the GreenBeanChicago.com, financial coordination at the city, state and federal level, and value engineering has stretched the project timeline to over 18 months and counting. However, these obstacles have solidified the team and hopefully this energy will naturally carry into the community once the doors open.

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