Last week you heard that the Hop Haus space on Franklin was bought out by its landlord to make room for a "national bar-restaurant." It turns out that Mercadito Hospitality, the folks behind Mercadito, Tavernita, and Little Market Brasserie, among others, is that bar-restaurant company. Reached by phone, owner Alfredo Sandoval confirmed that he's taking over the space on February 1 and a new Mercadito concept featuring Ryan Poli and the Tippling Bros is moving in, opening by the end of the summer.
The incumbent 4 AM liquor license (5 AM Saturdays) is a huge draw, and Sandoval will take full advantage. The unnamed concept (Sandoval says he's "almost 100 percent sure of the name") will be a beverage-focused lounge, but first and foremost a restaurant, serving dinner until the wee hours. "You can count on one hand the restaurants in Chicago that serve dinner after midnight," he says. "There's nothing like this in Chicago."
He compares the food to New York's Blue Ribbon, but "not as snooty." It will be a gastropub serving American comfort food, influenced by different parts of the world. Look for rib eyes, sushi, salads, and crudo on the menu, masterminded by Poli. Sandoval says another recognizable chef will helm the kitchen. As far as the Tippling Bros' beverage program, Sandoval says they have new tricks up their sleeves, using Tavernita's kegged cocktails as an example.
The decor will revolve around graffiti art and exposed brick, creating a rustic yet modern vibe. Sandoval wants it to be "the place for late-night dining" in Chicago. Stay tuned for more after the new year.
· All Coverage of Mercadito Hospitality [~ECHI~]
· All Coverage of Ryan Poli [~ECHI~]
· All Coverage of Tippling Bros [~ECHI~]
· All Coverage of Alfredo Sandoval [~ECHI~]
· Mercadito [Official Site]
· Hop Haus [Official Site]