Pomp & Circumstance in Old Town won’t be reopening. After a year, Carmen Rossi (Hubbard Inn, Joy District) and his team have brokered a deal with Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants and they’ll open a Broken English Taco Pub at the spot on Wells Street. The opening should happen in a few weeks, according to Stefani COO/CFO Steven Hartenstein.
Broken English opened in May in The Loop, a passion project from Adolfo Garcia who wanted to bring some of flavor from his native Mexico to Downtown Chicago. The cantina vibe has made the restaurant a popular happy hour and lunch destination. There should also be a few new dishes in Old Town from chef Frank Valdez.
"Old Town is just an awesome area, we just think this concept his perfect for the neighborhood," said Hartenstein.
There is a void of fast-casual Mexican food on that patch of Wells, omitting Salpicon’s upscale dining. Broken English and their TVs should do well during college football Saturdays in the neighborhood.
The restaurant’s first floor and bar will open first, as the second floor and its private event space will be completed at a later date. There’s also a year-around patio in back for mezcal cocktails and margaritas.
Right now, the building’s exterior is going through an upgrade courtesy of artist J.C. Rivera. Rivera, who also painted the colorful mural on Stefani’s yet-to-open restaurant in River North, Flamingo Rum Club, is working on a new mural outside the Old Town building.
As far as Pomp & Circumstance, the bar never gained an identity. It lasted a year and shut down earlier this month as word got out Rossi was looking for a partner to take over operations. The two-floor building housed Kamehachi for 17 years before the sushi spot moved down the street in 2011.