Chicagoans have been flocking to chef Stephanie Izard’s quirky Little Goat Diner in the West Loop since 2012, but earlier this year, the culinary enterprise decamped for Lakeview’s Southport Corridor, sharing space with fellow Boka Restaurant Group ventures GG’s Chicken Shop and Itoko in an old bowling alley.
New York creative agency Brand Bureau was tasked with Little Goat Diner’s second incarnation, and Hilary Miners, head of environment design, says the team reinterpreted diner elements through the lens of a concept dubbed retro electrica. Warm oak paneling, for example, “envelops the perimeter to provide vintage charm, while pops of berry, peach, and sage activate the furnishings,” she says. Further, swaths of citrus yellow tones are found in the checkered linoleum flooring, the fluted tile at the counter, and hand-touched Zellige tile at the pass-thru.
In the smoky mirrored VIP dining nook, neon artwork depicting a goat both strengthens the restaurant’s identity and alludes to Izard’s whimsical cooking, as does the signature clock melding brass and electric pink neon above the main counter. “The neon tube frames the custom clock face,” says Miners, and “celebrates the Little Goat brand with clock hands featuring the goat logo painted in a raspberry red.”