Image courtesy of Glastile

A blend of Hakatai's 3/4-inch Carter glass mosaic tile adorns the walls of the Latin-style Sangria restaurant and tapas bar in Chicago.
Further contributing to the lively environment in Chicago's Clybourn Triangle entertainment district is Sangria, a Spanish-inspired restaurant and tapas bar. Complete with a sangria bar offering 12 varieties of sangria, an extensive wine list from Argentina, Chile and Spain, and hot and cold tapas-style dishes from more than 24 Latin countries, this new "hot spot" offers dining in a festive atmosphere. And adding to the overall ambiance of the restaurant are the vibrant-colored mosaic glass tiles that decorate the interior walls.

"The glass mosaics not only accent our cuisine, but also the style of our guests and the Sangria variety," stated Marc Portugal of Bortz Entertainment Group, which is the owner of the establishment. "All of these design elements represent the core of Sangria."

In total, approximately 700 square feet of custom gradient and custom blend 3/4-inch glass tiles from the Carter collection by Hakatai were employed throughout the 6,000-square-foot space. In particular, a large curved partition clad in mosaics and images of Sangria creates a point of interest in the dining room.

"The wall mosaics portray a montage of patterns that ultimately merge as a symmetric whole," stated Portugal. "It is representative of the Sangria philosophy -- integrate the menu, atmosphere and service."

Combined with rich woodwork, the vibrant-colored glass mosaics created a dynamic visual statement in the dining area.
Selecting a custom blend
In choosing the mosaic tiles, Bortz Entertainment Group utilized Hakatai's Web site and custom design department. By using an easy-to-use tool, a custom blend of glass tiles was developed. The shimmering effects from the shades of light blue and tangerine -- combined with rich woodwork -- creates the sultry Latin dining and lounge environment that was desired.

"I think Bortz really knew what they wanted," said Ann-Britt Malden of Hakatai. "They were able to play online and choose the colors [of the mosaics]. It was a very cool project."

Malden explained that once the custom colors and percentage of the blend was chosen, there was a two- to four-week lead-time for the materials to arrive on site. The mosaic pieces were shipped on 13-by-13-inch sheets with clear film on the face of the tile -- ready for installation.

The mosaics not only bring a vivid visual statement to the interior design of Sangria, but the tiny glass pieces also give the restaurant an elevated level of elegance and sophistication. The bright colors create a fun and energized atmosphere where patrons can sit back and relax, yet still provide a sense of a chic high-end style.

"It's exciting to supply glass mosaic tile for such fresh and innovative projects like this," said Malden. "It's a blend of unique colors that makes the restaurant look 'sparky,' and gives it a Spanish style."