Starting Jan. 2, Mercat a la Planxa is going to sleep in the South Loop. The eight-year-old Spanish restaurant stalwart inside the Blackstone Hotel on Michigan Avenue will temporarily close for renovations. The Tribune reported the restaurant will remain shuttered for a couple of months as workers give the dining room a facelift.
Mercat’s GM Andy Pishko called the renovations significant as they change over from rustic to modern. They’ll move in new furniture and expanding the seating. The Catalonian-inspired menu and tapas will also get a revamp, as they gear to open in the spring. By then, as the Trib and Mercat executive chef Aaron McKay reminded Chicagoans, it will be asparagus and ramps season.
Mercat is one of two restaurants in Chicago from chef Jose Garces. The celebrity chef, famous for his appearances on Iron Chef America, also counts Rural Society inside the Loews Hotel in Streeterville as part of his restaurant group.