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Late Nights, Large Menus Await at Today's Unveiling of Tippling Hall in River North

Inside Mercadito's latest, featuring massive food and beverage menus to satisfy all comers.

If you've been anxiously awaiting the opening of Tippling Hall, the latest restaurant from Mercadito Hospitality in the former Hop Haus space, your wait ends today at 4:00 PM. With a massive beverage program from the Tippling Bros. (Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci) and a globally-inspired food menu from chef Guillermo Tellez that is its equal, Tippling Hall appears to want to be everything to everyone.

The Tippling Bros. have several draft cocktails on tap, including one dubbed "the Derek Smalls," an homage to the character from the film This is Spinal Tap which features Zubrowka bison grass vodka, cucumber, mint, lime and grapefruit bitters ($11).

The duo's menu also lists a number of other cocktails, some of which fall under the category of "sloshees" (frozen cocktails). There is also spiked coffee, varieties of the ubiquitous Bloody Mary, liquor and beer combos, beer four ways (draft, bottle, can, large format), all manner of wine (including Tippling red or white sold by the inch or bottle), sake and cider. Basically, if you're looking to get your drink on, Tippling Hall has you covered.

Tellez's menu is sprawling and broken down into eight categories (bar bites, starters, flatbreads, salads, sandwiches, potatoes, big things and side things). From chipotle hummus to saganaki, tarte flambée to the classic wedge salad, an oyster po' boy to potato pancakes, roasted chicken tagine to baked ratatouille, the menu would seem to require the skills of a high wire performer.

The space is completely transformed from what it looked like when Hop Haus resided there. It's now well lit, wide open and embraces the wood and brick features in its design. There are a number of flat screens showing the big game and artwork (one piece featuring the skyscrapers of Chicago, another more esoteric piece greets guests as they enter, while one wall features mini pieces with menu items done in a kitschy, throw back diner style) to draw the eye towards.

The restaurant's website is in conflict with itself, suggesting they are open for lunch and brunch despite the posted hours (Sunday through Thursday 4:00 PM until 4:00 AM, Friday and Saturday 4:00 PM until 5:00 AM). Perhaps lunch and brunch are forthcoming? Regardless, the selling point here, after the food and drinks, would appear to be that very late closing time. Expect Tippling Hall to draw a crowd.

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