Inspired by Japanese teppanyaki, a new—and unnamed—South Loop restaurant from the team behind the Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen will feature a private room with a tabletop grill serving Mexican food. Chris Bravos, a Scout partner, said he envisions groups as large as 24 reveling around the table with margaritas in hand, commiserating while skirt steak or octopus sizzles. They’re hoping to open this summer after giving the former Zapatista a facelift.
Bravos, who was also on the opening team at The Pony in Lakeview, said a shot of tequila or pitcher of sangria would only enhance the tabletop grill experience. Bravos has a chef in mind to helm the kitchen, but he’s not ready to make an announcement.
“We’re thinking tacos, you can pick your ingredients—if you want a corn or flour tortilla—right at the table,” Bravos said.
The private room is but one component of the upcoming Mexican restaurant. It’ll have a main dining room, bar, and a diner-style counter with a truncated menu. The latter is a place designed to get customers out within 30 minutes. They could grab a taco—Bravos said they’ll have a trompo for al pastor—while grabbing a quick drink. Corona and other beer will be available, as well as a selection of tequilas and Mexican-inspired cocktails.
It won’t be a late-night spot, he says. It will offer carry outs, but Bravos wants to encourage diners to eat at the restaurant and toss back a few drinks.
Bravos expects the private room to be a hit for larger groups. But smaller groups of four will also have a chance to experience the tabletop grill. Interestingly, it’s not even the first restaurant in Chicago to recently announce a Japanese-style concept with Mexican flavors. The folks behind Bar Siena will introduce Barrio in River North later this year with former Top Chef contestant Katsuji Tanabe.
Stay tuned for more on this one in the South Loop.