Le Pain Quotidien restaurant outdoor sidewalk railing with flower boxes


Street front restaurants are a staple of any big city – especially in Old Town Chicago. They become gathering places where people can enjoy the atmosphere of a busy downtown or a sleepy small town main street. Sidewalk seating areas are a great way to take advantage of a nice day and an opportunity to gather with friends and family. In order to separate the restaurant space from commuter sidewalk space, they are often enclosed with a system of rails.

We designed these exterior commercial rails for a restaurant on North Avenue, along with the custom flower boxes to hold a seasonal array of lovely plants. They compliment the front of the restaurant, with its old-fashioned storefront, large windows and brick and concrete features. When we sat down with our clients we wanted to help add to that sense of old school elegance by creating a mix of modern and Gothic designs. The idea was to invoke the sense of the restaurant, welcoming with a touch of elegance.

Whenever we meet with a client our goal is to get a sense of their needs as well as a sense of the overall character of the space. When we arrived with the designs in hand, our clients were able to decide what best fit their vision. Sometimes it takes a little collaboration to decide on the best course of action!

The end result was a series of grates made of wrought iron and painted with a black, glossy finish. The interior grating has a pattern of lines and diamonds, adding a visual interest to what could have easily been left plain. While the design is simple, it invokes that feeling of old-fashioned restaurants and cafes where big plans were made. Street front restaurants have been featured in art for decades for a reason. They are inspiring places and we were pleased to contribute to the design of this one.

In addition to the railing design, we built flower boxes directly into the railings. Not only does this create further visual interest, even when empty, but it gives everything a sense of solidity. This North Avenue restaurant doesn’t have to worry about the flower boxes being tipped over due to someone bumping into them. It would take a feat of clumsiness to knock these wrought iron railings over! The final look of plants adorning the Gothic design of the railings gives the façade another element of class.

If you are ready to add custom metalworks to your commercial business or residence, reach out to us. We love to collaborate on new pieces that will give your property its own sense of character. Whether you need help with design, fabrication or installation – our Chicagoland metal fabrication shop is here to help!