That was fast. After shuttering abruptly after 11 years on Monday, local favorite West Town Tavern is reopening tomorrow—as Chicago Taco. Owners Susan and Drew Goss are jumping headfirst into the trendy progressive taco scene and have crafted a menu filled with artisan tacos and cocktails for the reopening tomorrow at 5 p.m. "They're 'Chicago tacos,' not Mexican tacos," Susan says, before reinforcing that "it's a complete 180 from West Town Tavern."
What prompted the switch? Susan says she wanted something that's "more conducive to the neighborhood" and that "everybody needs a change." Other progressive Mexican restaurants, such as Takito Kitchen and Antique Taco, are further northwest. Closer Mexican spots are more traditional and don't have cocktails like the Gosses are planning, she says.
While the food will obviously be much different, the beverages will be completely revamped as well. Susan says that Chicago Taco will focus on beer, shots, and cocktails (and malort!), although three wines, "white, pink and red," will be available. They're hoping Chicago Taco will bring in more of the drinking and takeout crowds.
With such a quick turnaround, don't expect much of a change to the decor. They're taking the curtains off the windows to make it more airy and modern and bringing in a graffiti artist to change the sign. The hours will start at 5-10 p.m., but she's open to late-night hours, lunch, and other tweaks the neighborhood asks for.
The Gosses, who have lived in the neighborhood since 1997, are attempting to keep a little continuity by holding on to a few staple ingredients, such as the fried chicken and the lamb. Susan stresses that despite the change, they're "not going anywhere." Only just about everything else about West Town Tavern is going away.