Food, window shopping at Restoration Hardware's 3 Arts Club Café

CHICAGO (WLS) -- One of Chicago's landmarked buildings has a stunning new look, and its crowning feature is a light-filled garden restaurant.

The Three Arts Club was built just over 100 years ago, but now, with a furniture and design store giving it new life, it seems the restaurant is attracting as much attention as the sofas and chairs.

For just over a century, the stately Three Arts Club has hugged the corner of Dearborn and Goethe, but over the past few decades, it fell into disrepair and abandonment. Not anymore. Restoration Hardware converted it into a design center and retail furniture store, and part of that included sealing a courtyard in glass, creating a light-filled space - complete with running fountain - that now houses a restaurant run by Chicago's Hogsalt group, which already has a number of concepts under its belt.

"You can really kind of design your own meal. You can get a coffee and a pastry if you just feel like hanging out for a while; you can have a more substantial lunch - you can have a burger, you can have a grilled cheese or you could just have a salad with a really nice grilled chicken breast," said 3 Arts Club Café Chef John Asbaty.

Fans of Au Cheval's burger will recognize this version, complete with crispy fries, but this is more of a ladies-who-lunch scene during the day, hence a nice selection of vegetarian-friendly salads, like a thinly-shaved raw veg version, garnished with candy stripe beets and a sprinkling of chopped pecans.

Charred carrots are tossed with a pistachio pesto, mounded over smooth yogurt and topped with more pulverized pistachios. How about beets two ways? Pureed in a swoosh then roasted and tossed with greens and toasted sesame seeds. Feel like an urban picnic? Go for the prosciutto board with crusty baguette, knobs of salty cheese and seasonal fruit.

"It's not a big menu, but it's a really versatile menu that I feel like can appeal to everyone," Asbaty said.

Seating isn't limited to the courtyard. In fact, don't be surprised if window shopping quickly becomes wine tasting. You think that chair you're sitting on is for sale?

"I have a feeling looking around the space that I feel like that question is probably asked a lot," he said.

Now when you're dining in a furniture store, it should come as no surprise that everything you see here is for sale. But when was the last time you ate in a furniture store with food this good?

The restaurant closes at 8 p.m. each night, but on Sunday they close at 6 p.m., so a late dinner is probably out of the question.

3 Arts Club Café
1300 N Dearborn Pkwy.
(312) 475-9116

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