Indoor-outdoor restaurants are all the rage around the country but nowhere do they seem to be as popular as they are in Chicago. The combination of rooftops, patios, waterfront, and skyline make Chicago the perfect setting.

Here is a list of articles that help make the case:
Best Views – (The J. Parker)
Patio Season
Outdoor for Wine – (Godfrey)
Outdoor Dining

The architecture and design features vary quite a bit. To help break this down, here is a list of common features:
• Open-air, clear-sky views
• Glass railings and dividers
• Retractable wall systems
• Pergolas
• Skylights; retractable and fixed
• Retractable enclosures

Libart has had the good fortune of engineering, producing and installing many of the retractable roofs and patios for indoor-outdoor restaurants in the Chicagoland area. Here are four projects that are routinely in the news:

Godfrey

• Featured May 2018: 20 Great Places to Drink Rosé All Day in Chicago
• The I|O Rooftop Lounge is such a draw that The Godfrey features this image on their promotional emails for events and hotel specials.

Federales

The entire roof retracts and houses beyond customers’ viewpoint so that it looks like the roof isn’t even there. It has helped give Federales the industrial look and fun bar atmosphere that has set them apart from the competition.

Kimpton Gray

Boleo operates inside a 4,000-square-foot space and has a seating capacity of approximately 150. It offers radiant beams of sunlight (daylighting) through its retractable glass roof, providing a stark contrast from the typical dim lit hotel hallways. Thanks to Libart’s Clearsky, Boleo possesses an open-air dining feel, ensuring that patrons feel invigorated.

Among the many indoor-outdoor restaurants, most of them only offer fair-weather accommodations. Terrace 16, for instance, will open late this summer on the 16th floor of the controversial Trump Tower. While offering amazing views, the terrace will not protect guests from inclement weather. Should they want to take it up a notch, there are several Libart product solutions they may wish to consider.

Panora – Kinetic Serves as a Railing, Divider and Windbreak

Whether on the ground floor or on a balcony, Panora – Kinetic offers a clean, modern aesthetic with a unique, spring-loaded extension. Unlike standard glass railings, the Panora – Kinetic extensions provides a true windbreak. This is a great first step for indoor-outdoor restaurants to ensure the comfort of their guests.

Panora – View Vertical Retracting Windows and Doors

Operable glass has long been limited to horizontal sliding and folding systems. This video shows how vertical retraction technology offers significant advantages over these traditional approaches.

With Panora – View, indoor-outdoor restaurants can now have the best of both worlds. On one hand, the integrity and year-round protection of traditional construction allow for HVAC control and the comforts of indoor space. Panora – View’s energy efficient design is an integral part of the building envelope and meets life safety code. On the other hand, Panora – View vertical retracting windows and doors provide controlled passive cooling when retracted, efficient utilization of the floor-plan, unobstructed panoramic views and an integral glass balustrade. These all add up to an indoor-outdoor restaurant that maximizes return on investment year-round.

Learn more at forabetterview.com.

SolaGlide Retractable Skylights

The one-two punch for indoor-outdoor restaurants is Panora – View plus SolaGlide. In addition to controlled passive cooling and unobstructed views from retractable windows and doors, SolaGlide offers the clear-sky views and open-air experience that guests are craving.

One of the first SolaGlide projects in the country takes us out east, to Boston. Legal Harborside created a masterpiece back in 2012. The rooftop promenade deck is topped by a 30’ x 60’ motorized skylight that opens at the touch of a button. When closed, the thermally broken design and solar-control glazing provides indoor comfort and energy efficiency for year-round use.

SolaGlide has held up nicely to harsh Boston winters. The motorized operation has continued to perform well in these intervening years. The longevity of SolaGlide is partially attributed to the weather sealing of critical components. The hidden drive mechanism, automatic tensioning system and double weather seals provide protection from the elements and eliminate high-maintenance items such as chains or cables.

Factory life cycle testing of SolaGlide has already exceeded 25,000 cycles. That equates to close to 10 years of actual operation with no motor-related issues. Of course, the practical use in Boston is more revealing.

Another example that may serve to inspire Chicagoans is the Carolina Ale House in Raleigh, NC. This case study provides all of the details and the inspiration required for Chicago’s indoor-outdoor restaurants to raise the bar.

Enclosures are King of the Rooftop

The I|O Rooftop Lounge at the Godfrey Hotel Chicago and the J. Parker at Hotel Lincoln are two of Chicago’s most notable rooftop enclosures. Project details, videos and downloads are available in our gallery – Godfrey, J. Parker. These projects showcase the design flexibility of Libart enclosures. In the case of Godfrey, the lean-to style design is supported by the adjoining structure. At J. Parker, the enclosure is completely self supporting yet retracts back against the adjoining structure. Both of these architectural solutions provide unobstructed, clear-sky and vista views when open and year-round, indoor comfort with natural daylight and UV protection when closed. This true, indoor-outdoor experience maximizes WOW factor and return on investment.

Another popular design option for courtyards blurs the line between a skylight and an enclosure. We call these “ClearSky Retractable Skylights.” Examples of this design option are Federales and Boleo at Kimpton Gray Hotel. With this design option, the kinetic architectural enclosure has very short side and rests on top of the static architecture. This enables courtyards to become year-round functional spaces with natural daylight and UV protection while offering unobstructed, clear-sky views and fresh ard when desired.

Retractable Clear Vinyl Offers Extra Patio Seating and Protection from the Elements

Libart USA’s parent company, Stoett Industries, offers Panorama Clear Vinyl as a cost effective and robust option for indoor-outdoor restaurants. Unlike many patio screen and shade solutions, Panorama Clear Vinyl provides an upscale aesthetic, motorization, wind and sun sensors for automatic control, unlimited housing colors and a choice of black, camel, dark grey, ivory, light grey, white or sand colored fabric.

About Stoett Industries

Stoett Industries, Inc. is based in Hicksville, Ohio and is the parent company of Libart USA. Founded by the Stover family, we have grown into a sophisticated manufacturer of a diverse range of customized retractable architectural and screen solutions. Our top priorities are new product development and continued establishment of relationships that provide unsurpassed quality. With our ongoing growth, Stoett still holds to our original mindset. We are committed to our family of workers and to our community and grateful for the financial success that allows for continuing investment in American job creation, and unrivaled product and service excellence.