0027 Lost Lake

Art Direction / Build / Concept / Design

When LSD beverage director Paul McGee joined our team, we spoke about opening a tropical bar concept at some point. We just didn’t anticipate taking on and completing it so quickly.

After identifying and then (sorta) unexpectedly securing two relatively small storefronts in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago, we quickly set out to design and build a fully immersive tropical bar, one that is now a radically stark departure from its previous iteration.

Clayton Hauck for Lost Lake


Clayton Hauck for Lost Lake

LSD partner Robert McAdams first pitched the ceilings variously throughout the space, giving each area a differing and more intimate feel. We then added bamboo and thatchwork throughout, as well as a dramatic ‘Martinique’ wallpaper print that defines the space. Oh, and there’s a cave room as well. We designed and then built a new bar and backbar, one replete with a large (and fairly combative) piranha tank.

We then added some traditional tiki touches – blowfish, fish traps, glass floats and more – in creating a glamorous, tropical escape.


Clayton Hauck for Lost Lake / Thank You.

Cody Hudson’s design studio Struggle Inc. developed custom coasters, glassware menus, menu inserts and swizzles, items so covetable some of them have found their way to eBay.


Clayton Hauck for Lost Lake
“If you’re not tempted to grab a stack of bird-print coasters to take home, you’re a better person than me.” – Amy Cavanaugh, Time Out Chicago

Clayton Hauck for Lost Lake

McGee collaborated with brewer Tim Lang of Marz Community Brewing to develop our own bottled beer ‘Lost Lake Exotica Ale’, a malty beer brewed specifically for rum pairings, one that is available at both Lost Lake as well as for carryout at the adjacent Thank You. (see LSD0028), the American Chinese takeout counter next door.

photos: Clayton Hauck