A new restaurant where customers can find huevos rancheros for weekend brunch and lamb barbacoa tacos debuts tonight in Wicker Park. Tuko Cantina is from the same team that was behind Rhyme or Reason as management decided to replace their two-year-old with a Mexican restaurant. It’s the third restaurant in two years in the space near the northeast corner of Damen and Division. Rhyme or Reason replaced the Wicker Park post of Jerry’s Sandwiches which lasted nine years at 1938 W. Division Street.
Rhyme or Reason opened in 2016 with a ‘70s theme. Ownership briefly closed to ramp up to open the new restaurant. In redecorating the space, management removed the old psychedelic color scheme. It’s been replaced with more of Mexican Western feel, and the back area’s red, white, and black gives it a Scarface meets Reservoir Dogs atmosphere.
Mezcal’s popularity continues to rise in America, and Tuko’s drink list capitalizes on that. There’s also a sangria on tap and the menu lists a mocktail of the month.
Chef Chris de La Cueva also helmed the kitchen at Rhyme or Reason. His menu features an assortment of cheffy tacos, tortas, and nachos. He’s joined by pastry chef Jocelyn Meza who worked at Untitled in River North. She’s baking tres leches cakes with bourbon cajeta (Mexican caramel sauce).
Check out the menus below. Ownership is also working on opening a Tuko Cantina in Evanston. The Wicker Park location opens tonight and weekend brunch kicks off on Saturday.
Tuko Cantina, 1938 W. Division Street, (773) 687-8240, open 5 p.m. to midnight on Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday; 10 a.m. to midnight on Sunday.