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The Alinea Group

General Info
Nick Kokonas
Chicago, IL


On May 4th, 2005 we opened the doors to Alinea. The culmination of years of dreaming and imagination, Alinea was a minimalist modern vision that put the focal point on the cuisine and dining as an experience.

Chasing modernity is a fool’s errand. What was modern design in 2004 when we began the project is unlikely to be cutting edge in 2020. And so just before our 10th anniversary we committed to completely redesign and rebuild Alinea. On January 4th of this year the demolition crew came through and the rebuild began shortly after. Crews worked continuously to do in 4 months what took 13 months the first time around. And we sent our team around the world in the process. The new design is an intentional juxtaposition of classical architectural references and modern touchstones. It seeks to be timeless and sophisticated while giving no direct hints to a specific time or place. We also took the opportunity to improve the mechanicals, modernize the lighting systems, and install a five-zone sound system. We’ve also come to understand that the best moments of creativity come when we are uncomfortable and uncertain. So we are starting with a blank slate on the cuisine as well – and adding a few completely new experiences and choices for patrons. Some people are calling this iteration Alinea 2.0 or the Alinea Reboot. We just call it Alinea. Because all along we’ve always desired to embrace innovation and change as our core identity. “Alinea” means the beginning of a new train of thought.
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