Hipsters rejoice: You won't have to cram into Big Star this winter to get your fill of delicious tacos and cheap beer and whiskey. The Wicker Park bar is getting an enclosed patio.
It was first noticed last night that a patio appeared to be under construction. Rumors were confirmed when we spoke with executive chef Justin Large, who told us that a glass-enclosed patio would allow for an additional 50 seats throughout the year.
The patio, which will be heated, should be completed by the end of the month. It'll include an awning, which will remain in the summer once the glass enclosure comes down to provide a bit of extra shade. If you spent any time on that patio last summer, you know it can get damn hot.
In addition to the new patio, Big Star is getting some new tacos, beef cheek tacos to be exact. It'll be made with a salsa borracha (drunk salsa), which comes from Northern Mexico and is made with beer and tequila. And to everyone who has hoped Big Star would add a carne asada, it's still not happening. "Sorry to all you carne asada lovers," Large said. "But Pasadita does a great carne asada." And in response to Chicago naming the tacos de Rajas de Poblano one of their 30 favorite dishes, it's going back on the menu, starting tomorrow.
The bar is planning more beer dinners and is hoping to have one going with Stone Brewing soon. Speaking of beer, in honor of Big Star's one-year anniversary on Nov. 8, they're teaming with Goose Island to create their own beer. Called Deguello, it'll be "super food friendly," Large said. "It's bright, easy to drink and really clean. It won't be super malty or overly hopped. It's closest in style to a pale ale, but not really a pale ale." Dugeullo was a war cry used by the Mexicans at the Battle of the Alamo and means, more or less, "fight to the death or take off their heads." And it's the name of a ZZ Top album. So now if you don't remember the Alamo, you'll have a good excuse.