O'Hare International Food Court

Terminal 5, O'Hare International Airport


The team at CDA had a unique opportunity to provide design and architectural services for all the post-security food concessions at O'Hare International Terminal 5. Our talented team worked with the food operation client and with each respective brand to adapt their concepts to high-volume airport restaurants. The client and DOA required the projects to be sequentially staggered to ensure customers had food offerings during the extensive airport terminal remodel process.
Dan Tessarolo, Chief Operations Officer

The Ask

Chipman Design worked with Centerplate to create a high-end dining collection of iconic Chicago restaurants in the International Terminal at O’Hare Airport known as T5. Chipman was hired to design their food court, as well as three other restaurants accessible beyond airport security.

The Task

Chipman was responsible for collaborating with a European design firm to adapt concepts for the US market, which included identifying materials with durability for the extreme high-traffic setting of an airport. Chipman also coordinated with multiple different municipalities for approvals including the FAA, O’Hare International Airport, union leaders and landlord, City of Chicago Building Department, City of Chicago Health Department, as well as ownership from the represented restaurant brands. Collaborating with Lettuce Entertain You Group, the firm was successful in retaining the brands’ identities while scaling appropriately for the airport terminal.

Restaurants in the upgraded space include Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless, Hub 51, Tocco, Big Bowl, Wow Bao, R.J. Grunts and Intelligentsia Coffee. One year after the unveiling of the Terminal’s transformation, sales are up more than 69% and the international terminal of this iconic airport has been upgraded by an elevated dining experience.

Tortas storefrontTocco storefront with a wall with circular motif on itCafe seating areaSeating under half circle light fixturesRustic seating area around a bar with a suspended flat screen televisionFancy bar with light wood tables and chairsKofe counter displayDetail of bar and barstools