Building with Pros Posted on March 1, 2008 at 1:24 am.Written by Big Jones Tweet Email We’ve had the great fortune of having a great building team with Joel Berman Architecture, Interia, and all of the subcontractors we’ve pulled together to build your restaurant. Joel & Larry have built out many wonderful restaurant and retail spaces around Chicago, and have gotten really good at it. they are both small business owners, and understand the issues we are facing as a startup. It’s been a great match for us.Pink Pages is doing a feature on Joel Berman Architecture, and how important his firm has been in the incredible vitalization of the Clark Street strip during the last ten years. He shares a lot of that credit with Interia, a partnership between Larry Ciupak and Jason Pearson. They are the contractors who have built many of the delightful spaces Joel has designed over the last several years.We came across Joel and Larry last spring when I was looking for an architect for a project we were considering at 4801 North Broadway in Uptown. I used Angie’s List, which is a residential services rating site, to search for well-regarded architects. I then went to their web sites to see if they did commercial work. Joel was listed “A” on Angie’s List, and when I went to his site and saw that he had designed some really great spaces such as Urbanest, Sir Spa, In Fine Spirits, and Gruppo di Amichi, it seemed like a no-brainer.When Joel came out to evaluate potential build-out for that spot, he brought Larry with him in order to be able to give better advice on the full range of issues. That spot didn’t pan out, but when we signed onto 5347 North Clark, Joel was the first architect I called. This is the fourth restaurant I’ve built, but the first as an owner. It’s been a relief to work with these folks, since we seem to be delivering the first on-schedule construction I’ve ever seen in Chicago. Their experience in building restaurants and working through the codes has helped us anticipate every single issue thus far. Let’s knock on wood here, because we’re still looking at a very early April opening!