Mordecai & Hush Money

fcSTUDIO designed Mordecai & Hush Money, a bi-level bar and restaurant in the heart of Wrigleyville that pays homage to the famous Chicago Cubs pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown by pairing sporty nods to baseball with refined architectural details in Chicago, Illinois.

  • area / size 4,000 sqft
  • Year 2018
  • Downstairs, restaurant and bar Mordecai stand true to its namesake, offering a design that feels sophisticated yet approachable, effortless yet incredibly detailed, and modern yet timeless. Drawing inspiration from several decades ago when baseball fans wore suits to games, every last detail was carefully curated to provide a dignified aesthetic that embodies the comfort level of a well-worn suit. The space is dressed with vintage sports imagery from the baseball hall of fame and the Cubs archives, including playing cards that were scanned, enlarged, printed, and framed. Most notably, backlit bars take center stage with flat screen televisions that disappear behind sliding, circular, woven metal screens. Mordecai’s ground level houses a lengthy 17-seat oak bar, which runs parallel to a long banquette punctuated by a series of lounge tables.

    Upstairs, Hush Money Cocktail Bar blends creative cocktails with a lively atmosphere and an upbeat sound. In this space a more intimate and exclusive seating area emerges and are positioned adjacent to a smaller bar and extend to an outdoor patio. Natural materials are found throughout, ranging from tufted leather sofas and leather-wrapped bar tops, to terrazzo flooring, custom millwork crafted from warm woods, and finely detailed, linear-inspired lighting fixtures. Old meets new with the traditional pinstripe pattern seen in the wallcoverings and upholstery both made more contemporary with dashes of hot pink. A custom parquet motif provides a modern twist by changing the direction of the wood grain to add visual appeal to the upper level flooring and bar. Earthy colors and warm brown tones are juxtaposed with pops of black, grey, and white to infuse a more vintage vibe, while brass and bronze finishes add elegance.

    Predicting the movement and organizational flow for a bi-level, multi-bar space located within the core of a bustling hotel served to be most challenging for the design team, especially in a space with a narrow footprint. The design team built out a new kitchen and back stairwell to ensure staff can service both Mordecai and Hush Money. The narrow space required spatially efficient seating selections that would not compromise style or comfort. As such, banquettes were incorporated to create luxurious, adaptable seating with rich fabrics that help with acoustics and overall warmth.

    Design: fcSTUDIO
    Photography: Katrina Wittkamp