The owners of Mini Mott are coy on their plans to expand, after all, they still need to open their first location. That happens tonight as the Mott St spin-off debuts in Logan Square inside the former Jam space at 3057 W. Logan Boulevard. Burgers, fresh-cut fries, chicken wings, and beers are on the menu at this new fast-casual space.
Mott St’s Vicki Kim shared stories of impatient Mott St customers who barked at kitchen staff when unable to order the Noble Square restaurant’s famous double-stacked burger. Her brother, Edward Kim, is the chef and there’s not a lot of grill space at their tiny restaurant at the northeast corner of Blackhawk and Ashland. Instead of relegating the kitchen staff — most of whom have fine dining backgrounds — to flipping burgers, Mott St made the availability of the burger scarce. Customers could only order it at the bar or during Sunday brunch. That angered some customers who claimed to have traveled great distances to order a burger. But it was a sensible way to ensure Mott St could keep functioning as more than a burger bar. Opening Mini Mott will hopefully give the people what they want.
“We needed to open a house for this burger,” Kim said. “People get so upset when they can’t have a burger.”
There’s room for 60 people inside plus a 22-seat patio. Mott St’s Nate Chung designed the patio so all the seats face Logan Boulevard. The staff described the interiors as playful, bright, and airy with pop elements. It’s got an ‘80s feel thanks to a design philosophy popularized by the Memphis Group. Saved by the Max, the Saved by the Bell pop-up, used many elements. Kim said think ‘80s Trapper Keeper, the popular three-ring binders that school kids made trendy. The floor to ceiling windows open accordion style.
The carnitas-style jackfruit, a savory vegetarian option, excites Vicki Kim. Her brother made a version at Ruxbin, the family’s shuttered Noble Square restaurant. Hold the cheese and aioli and get it wrapped in lettuce and it becomes vegan: “Ed just does a really good job at taking a humble ingredient and making it special,” Kim said of her brother.
Will Mini Mott sprout more locations? Kim is optimistic: “If the demand is there, we’ll go with it.”
Check out the photos below. Mini Mott opens at 5 p.m. today with reduced hours. Regular hours should go into effect next week.
Mini Mott, 3057 W. Logan Boulevard, open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.