The owners of Big & Little’s, the mini chain of quick-serve restaurants, have plans to open restaurants at Midway Airport and in Logan Square. While the Midway menu will be focused on tacos — including the Samurai whitefish taco — Tony D’Alessandro and Gary Strauss are still figuring out the menu before late May when the airport location should open at Concourse B. They’re also opening a Big & Little’s in Logan Square which will feature a full bar and a large patio.
“It’s going to be Big & Little’s party central,” D’Alessandro said.
They compared the location to Big Star, but with flatscreens everywhere. it’s quite a change from Big & Little’s humble beginnings at their original location around the corner from Cabrini-Green. They also run two restaurants in Lakeview and one in Wicker Park, serving burgers, sandwiches, pizza, poke, and tacos. Though they’ve been featured nationally, the new locations provide vindication. For one, they never thought they’d be opening an airport location.
“We’ve put in a lot of hard work for the last eight years,” Strauss said.
Before poke became trendy, Big & Little’s was serving it up in tacos and sandwiches. The restaurant started because the owners wanted to open a place to find quality fish and chips at an affordable price. No need to sit at a dreary McPub and eat a piece of overpriced frozen cod. Big & Little’s fish and chips are amongst Chicago’s best.
The Logan Square location, 3000 W. Fullerton Avenue, should open sometime this summer, though no one would mind if it opens in the spring after Chicago thaws. They’ll offer the same menus as at other Big & Little’s. A larger kitchen could mean room experiment and come up with new items.
As for Midway, Chicago’s aviation department has D’Alessandro and Strauss promoting its Airport Restaurant Week at Midway and O’Hare International Airport. The annual event goes through February 8 offering freebies and discounts to travelers. They’re also giving travelers at Midway a sneak peak at upcoming food offerings with cooking demonstrations. Big & Little’s on February 6 at Midway will be carving out ahi tuna, a staple in many of its popular items. Home Run Inn will conduct a demo on January 31. Harry Caray’s is returning to Midway. They’ll do a demo on February 1.
O’Hare is also getting in on the action. Garrett’s will unveil a new popcorn flavor, “Spicy Vulcan Cheese Corn” that will be available at various airport snack shops. The new restaurants at Midway are part of ongoing improvements.