Fulton Market’s latest restaurant opening is a lavish tapas bar from a chain with four locations in New York and two in Washington, D.C. Boqueria opens on Thursday just steps from the neon Fulton Market Gateway, west of Halsted Street. This is Boqueria’s first restaurant away from the Atlantic Ocean — the original opened in 2006 in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood.
Founder Yann de Rochefort and executive chef Marc Vidal built a mini empire on the East Coast, establishing a restaurant good for groups, with happy hour deals, and reliable Spanish fare. A Washington Post review of a location that opened earlier this year raved about ribs and crudo and read “for better or worse, Boqueria is a blast.”
The Chicago location has about 140 seats spread throughout a 4,465-square-foot space. The interiors transform at night when custom lights create a different environment. Studio Razavi, nominated for a James Beard Award for design earlier this year for its work on Boqueria’s location in New York’s Midtown West neighborhood, worked on the Chicago restaurant.
Boqueria will be open for dinner and lunch with plans to add weekend brunch later this month. The Soho, New York location has a package brunch deal that includes unlimited mimosas and sangria for $42. Ownership will bring that brunch deal next week to Chicago. They’re also trumpeting sangria pitchers. They come in red, white, or rosé with seasonal varieties also available. The bar will pay tribute to Spanish favorites including vermouths and gin and tonics.
Sangria pitchers and bacon-wrapped dates aren’t new to Chicago, which has seen the likes of Emilio’s Tapas, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, Cafe Iberico, and others introduce the city to Spanish small plates. Next year, D.C. heavyweight Jaleo will open in River North from famous chef José Andrés.
But Fulton Market, once home to Chicago’s meatpacking industry, is now a place to be seen and a neighborhood that further establishes a brand’s identity. Time Out Market opened last month just down the street. Chef John Manion has a stall inside the food hall, but first decided to first close his own Fulton Market restaurant, La Sirena Clandestina, due to increasing real estate costs.
Now Boqueria, an established chain of restaurants, plants its flag, ready to showcase its own brand of paella, patatas bravas, and more. Take a peek through the space below.
Boqueria, 807 W. Fulton Market, (312) 252-3172, reservations via OpenTable, lunch service starts Monday; weekend brunch starts Saturday, December 14; open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays for lunch; 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday to Thursday; 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. Weekend brunch goes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.