The owners of Antique Taco are transforming their Bridgeport patio into a drive-in with carhop service. Co-owners Rick and Ashley Ortiz plan to feature classics like floats and fries, plus taco-based variations on drive-in favorites like cheeseburgers and Chicago hot dogs at 1000 W. 35th Street.
The couple was planning to revamp their patio anyway and the pandemic now serves as a motivator: “Hopefully it will be a fun thing to do in the fall and winter,” says Ashley Ortiz.
Ownership says the approach has several benefits — employees and patrons have limited physical interactions with one another, keeping everyone safe in their cars. In the absence of intercoms or an app, carhops will come out to take orders: “Obviously, with our name, we have always been fans of antiques and kind of looking that way at things,” Ashley Ortiz says.
They’ve got room for about nine parking spaces spread out in the 10,000-square-foot lot. This is another way Chicago restaurant owners are preparing for the colder months during the pandemic. Due to capacity restrictions, which were loosened last week, Antique Taco Bridgeport could only hold eight people. Now they’re taking a page out of Superdawg, the area’s only independent drive-in (the Sonic Drive-In chain has a location in Uptown).
Menu options will include a cheeseburger taco (prime beef patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, Antique sauce, sesame seeds, flour tortilla), and a Chicago dog taco (Vienna hot dog, mustard, tomato, onion, pickle, relish, sport peppers, poppyseeds, flour tortilla).
Rick Ortiz says he feels that community will appreciate the vintage aesthetic, hopefully it can remind folks of old cruise nights when classic cars piled into parking lots.
The pair founded the original Antique Taco in 2012 in Wicker Park. Four years later, they opened a second location in Bridgeport, Rick Ortiz’s ancestral neighborhood where his family has lived since the 1950s. They also operate Antique Taco Chiquito, an outpost inside Revival Food Hall in the Loop.
The Wicker Park location recently opened a pickup window. Now ownership is showing some love for the South Side location. Check back for updates.
Antique Taco, 1000 W. 35th Street, drive-in planned to open on October 13.