After opening 30 restaurants in the last 27 years, James Beard award-winning restaurateur Kevin Boehm (along with partners Robb Leone and Joseph Fisher) has launched his most challenging concept to date: BIÂN, a posh integrative wellness club. Expect state-of-the-art equipment; extensive fitness, yoga and pilates classes; cutting-edge therapeutic modalities; lavish spa and beauty services; and a cold plunge pool and steam room.
Every member will receive a fully personalized health and wellness program (the club also has a complete medical facility) that blends Eastern and Western medical practices. Physicians include those who work with the Chicago Blackhawks, U.S. Men’s Soccer team, U.S. Women’s Volleyball team, and the Chicago Marathon, as well as one of the leading naturopathic doctors in the U.S.
But instead of serving hearty fare, as at his star restaurant Boka, BIÂN will offer a curated selection of organic food and beverage including energizing smoothies, juices and elixirs and organic wine and spirits. Boehm explains why he decided to jump on the healthy bandwagon and what he does to keep his life in balance.
How is BIÂN a departure for you and your restaurants?
Wellness is such a big part of my life, and BIÂN is a reflection of how my partners and I want to live. There is a blank space in this intersection of medical, beauty, fitness and healthy food. We think we can fill it by building a wellness ecosystem.
What do you see as the future of dining in Chicago?
People want to be challenged more with cuisine than they used to. Those also want layers. Layers of food, of design, and they want a story behind everything. People get bored very quickly these days. They want concepts with depth to them.
What are your favorite venues and restaurants right now?
I love Juno, HaiSous, Café Cancale and Bar Biscay.
How do you unwind when you’re not working?
I try to find myself on a yoga mat at least three times a week. I love movies, and I play a lot of vinyl … everything from Miles Davis to Van Morrison.