The new tenant has finally been revealed for the prominent space on the northeast corner of Randolph and Halsted, which became vacant when the infamous divey Holiday Grill and Bar shuttered two years ago. The owners of El Solazo, a family-owned Mexican restaurant near Midway Airport, have plans to open a one-story restaurant with a rooftop bar later this year. Owner Jose Barajas won't commit to an opening date, as workers continue construction on the gut-rehabbed building at 740 W. Randolph St.
"We have a lot of work to do right now," Barajas said. "Right now we're focused on that."
It's an exciting feeling for Barajas to be part of Randolph Street Restaurant Row, as he said it shows how his family's hard work through the years has paid off. The new spot is directly across the street from Au Cheval, quite the difference to Barajas and his family's restaurant at 56th and Pulaski, open since 2007.
Barajas' contractor said they may have about two months of construction left. They're not even sure if they'll keep the El Solazo name or go with something else, Barajas said, but once those decisions are made "we're going to have some fun." The centerpiece will be that rooftop, but they'll also have private dining rooms, a bar, plus the main dining area.
For those unfamiliar with El Solazo, Barajas' family is from Jalisco. So what kind of Mexican food should diners expect?
"The food is obviously coming out of my kitchen, so expect authentic flavors," Barajas said.