Check those Spam filters on Memorial Day weekend, Wicker Park. That's when the owner of The Hampton Social (and formerly a co-owner of American Junkie) plans on opening his Hawaiian-themed restaurant, Mahalo, over on that lonely corner that Spanish cava bar Bom Bolla vacated.
Chicago really needs more poke, judging by those lines over at Chicago's French Market and Aloha Poke. Mahalo will give the city more. Executive chef Carlos Dalisay is in charge of the kitchen. Born in Manilla, Dalisay grew up in Hawaii and first worked in a kitchen onboard a Hawaiian cruise ship. Dalisay —who also worked at David Burke's Primehouse, Union Sushi+Barbeque Bar, Tavernita and Mastro's Steakhouse— will serve poke, skewered yakitori, Spam sandwiches and Hawaiian barbecue. They'll also offer weekend brunch.
While the building's previous tenant at 1501 N. Milwaukee Ave. never got a chance to make use of the 1,000-square-foot rooftop patio, Mahalo will, and they'll also utilize the second floor where a full-service "beach bar" stands. The first floor takes up 2,500 square feet. The decorations want to evoke a surf shack feel.
"Mahalo" is a means of thanks and gratitude. Memorial Day is Monday, May 30. Let's see if the neighborhood is appreciative of Brad Parker's new concept in a couple weeks.