Rick Bayless' team is getting close to opening the star chef's first standalone Chicago restaurant since the original Xoco in 2009. After a few delays, Bayless is planning to open Xoco Wicker Park in late-July. Interior construction is moving along and his team will commence hiring for the location this weekend. As previously reported, the new Xoco will be much larger than the original, featuring a full bar, table service, and street-side patio.
While the Xoco Wicker Park news is a win for Bayless' fans in Wicker Park, eaters on Restaurant Row will have to wait longer. The chef and TV personality is pushing back the opening of his more-secret West Loop project, which was originally slated to open before the end of the year, until 2015. Bayless is still keeping the specific concept under wraps, so details on the "completely new concept that you've never seen before" will have to wait a little longer.
Finally, Bayless and chef de cuisine Andres Padilla continue to roll out new Mexican history-inspired menus at Topolobampo. They've named the latest "Art," which is inspired by Bayless' "museum-worthy collection of paintings, photographs and prints." It's available now at Topolo.
· Details on New Bayless Projects: One XOCO, One Completely New Concept [-ECHI-]
· Time Travel Through Mexican History at Retooled Topolobampo [-ECHI-]
· All Rick Bayless Coverage [-ECHI-]