A tapas restaurant is moving into a space just in front of the infamous Fulton Market District sign at Fulton and Halsted. New York-based Boqueria is opening the chain’s first Chicago location in the 811 Fulton development later this year at 807 W. Fulton Market. The chain operates four New York locations and two restaurants in Washington D.C. Chicago would be the chain’s seventh location, according to a news release.
Boqueria will share the building with women-focused co-working space the Wing and social justice “impact investor” Chicago Beyond. New York restaurateur Yann de Rochefort founded the chain in 2006. Eater NY described it as “a friendly restaurant that has become a neighborhood reliable and is especially well-suited to groups.” De Rochefort grew up in France and traveled to Spain, splitting time between Madrid and Barcelona. He brought over Barcelona native Marc Vidal as Boqueria’s executive chef.
Vidal’s menu includes several Spanish staples: paella, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with almonds and Valdeón blue cheese, and piquillo peppers stuffed with braised oxtail and served with celery root purée and red wine jus. They also serve a range of churros: dusted with cinnamon sugar for dunking in hot chocolate, stuffed with fillings like Nutella or dulce de leche, or in cookie form as churro s’mores or ice cream sandwiches.
The 4,465 square-foot restaurant will seat 180 inside and outside, and includes a dedicated bar space. Studio Razavi Architecture, a 2019 James Beard Award finalist for its design of a Boqueria location in New York City, will design the space.
The drink list highlights Spanish wines, beers, and spirits. Cocktails include the “Basque Mule” with vodka, patxaran, ginger beer, and lime; and “Alma Del Sur,” made with El Gobernador Pisco, pineapple, lime, Peychaud’s bitters, and egg whites. Spain is known for vermouth and servers will pour red or white on the rocks with seltzer and a selection of garnishes.
The West Loop has had a void for Spanish restaurants after losing Salero in December. Although it’s Mediterranean, Nia is nearby serving small plates. Perhaps Boqueria will find a home as one of Chicago’s essential Spanish restaurants.
Stay tuned for news of an opening date as the project progresses.