About This Project

Canopied neighborhoods and Oak-lined parkways distinguish Chicago’s suburb of Oak Lawn, located just 11 miles southwest of Chicago. With its unique sense of community and stability, residents stay, and second generations return to the area. When the Harrigan Family, The Original Pancake House franchise owners, chose to open their second franchise in Oak Lawn, they engaged MCA to design an interior reflective of the community’s character and the company’s national reputation.

The Challenge:

The interior design needed to strike a pleasing balance between alignment with The Original Pancake House’s well-established brand of comfortable, wholesome dining while also appealing to the local market with a hip and slightly edgy aesthetic.

The MCA Solution:

Inspired by the restaurant’s breakfast and lunch milieu, the MCA team developed a palette of vibrant colors indicative of nature in the early morning. Warm woods and contemporary furnishings were paired with art and graphics inspired by the healthy fresh ingredients the restaurant is known for. Unique signage and wall décor paid homage to Oak Lawn and its heritage.


The Original Pancake House


Oak Lawn, IL


The Harrigan Family


Restaurant design for new franchise location


Diners seeking a comfortable, wholesome experience with a hip and slightly edgy aesthetic



Case Study, Hospitality

The R.O.E.® (Return on Environment)

MCA’s design approach hit the mark. Each time new customers visit, they comment on the great feel they get in the restaurant. Since its opening, loyal customers return more often and bring more friends. The restaurant is also enjoying a steady increase of new customers.