Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you know by now that the restaurant of the award-winning chef, TV host, author and philanthropist Charlie Trotter sadly closed its doors in the fall of 2012. After 25 years of leading the kitchen and business operations of his famed restaurant Charlie Trotter’s, Trotter recently enlisted Coldwell Banker agents Suzanne Gignilliat and Bruce Heller to put the property on the market for $3.8 million. But, in true Trotter style he welcomed some of Chicago’s most acclaimed chefs to cook in his kitchen for one final evening in his beloved space filled with friends, family and his culinary peers at a private event hosted by Coldwell Banker Previews and CS Magazine.
The event was held in the same dining room that over the years has accommodated many dignitaries and celebrities, such as Paul McCartney, Sting, Robert Redford and Michael Jordan to name a few. The dining area features a Viennese Bierdermier style interior, banquettes with custom woven wall fabric that line the main 90-seat restaurant, silk draperies and plush carpeting throughout. The wine cellars are stationed throughout and can hold up to 10,000 bottles. There are no statues or artwork, because Trotter felt as though the “food was the art, and the dining room was the canvas.”
A focal point of Charlie Trotter’s is obviously the kitchen, which boasts more than one million dollars of culinary equipment and is considered one of the most spectacular restaurant kitchens in the world. In fact, the kitchen is one of the few restaurant kitchens in the country with the tools comparable to a five-star hotel kitchen. Among its features are under the counter top refrigeration, self-cleaning water wash hoods, spring-loaded refrigerator doors, a stainless steel ceiling with smoke eating exhaust equipment to purify the air and eliminate airborne grime, deck lighting below the counters, and fluorescent and incandescent lights installed above the expeditor’s station, so that Trotter and his team of chefs could see a dish in the same light as a diner. The stove is a custom-made Bonnet Stove, which is one of the most expensive cooking ranges in the restaurant industry.
So, who will be the lucky new owner of this iconic landmark? Although it is still too early to tell, Coldwell Banker listing agent Suzanne Gignilliat has an idea. “This listing is unique and very special for many reasons,” she says. “It’s perfect for a top chef or restaurant group looking for an elegant space and state-of-the art kitchen located in a well-populated neighborhood, or for a buyer interested in a historically landmarked residence with ample space and storage. The properties can be bought together or separately.”
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