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A large bar and restaurant space with dark wood furnishings and a blue sign that reads “Solita.” Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

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Find Smoked Mexican Pork Ribs by the Pound at a River North Bar

Explore Solita Tacos & Margaritas, now open, bringing a West Coast favorite to Chicago

Solita Tacos & Margaritas, a West Coast restaurant mini-chain featuring Baja-style Mexican fare and open-hearth cooking, debuted on Friday in Chicago and unveiled its first restaurant outside its home state of California. It replaces over-the-top party bar Pink Taco at 431 N. Wells Street.

Positioned in tourist-heavy River North, Solita utilizes a wood-fired grill for entries such as a smoked pork belly dorado taco with amarillo hot sauce, and the Cadillac taco (stuffed with grilled carne asada, chipotle-garlic shrimp, melted cheese, and avocado). Larger options include charro-smoked chipotle-rubbed pork ribs served by the pound and an oak-roasted chicken.

A large bar and restaurant space opens directly onto a narrow sidewalk patio along a tree-lined street.
A dining room area with large U-shaped banquettes, tables, and chairs.
A large dining room with wooden floors and wooden furniture.

Pink Taco’s neon color palate is now a thing of the past.

The original Huntington Beach, California location has a reputable happy hour and Solita’s owner hope to mirror that in Chicago. The bar features eight margaritas and more than a dozen cocktails like a watermelon habanero martini and “frozen beer” (cold beer poured over a frozen margarita).

“It’s an approachable, contemporary, and casual environment, and the craft cocktail component brings it all together,” Randy Sharpe, CEO of ownership group Xperience Restaurant Group, told Eater in July. “They’re simple processes but the ingredients are high quality and helps us round out the concept.”

A large dining room space.
Solita seats more than 100 indoors.
Wooden tables and chairs are lined up along a white wall with wooden boxes inset in the side.
Two more new Solita locations are coming to Anaheim and Orlando, Florida.

Though Z Capital Partners is invested in both chains, Solita differs significantly in appearance from its infamous predecessor: Pink Taco’s hanging sculpture of a tattooed luchador and plush magenta banquettes have been replaced by classic exposed Chicago brick, dark natural wood and leather furniture, and spacious U-shaped booths that seem well-suited for large groups. At more than 9,500 square feet, the restaurant seats more than 100 indoors and nearly 650 more on an outdoor patio.

Explore Chicago’s new California import in the photographs below.

Solita Tacos & Margaritas Chicago, 431 N. Wells Street, Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

A long bar with backed wooden stools.
Patrons can find spicy, salty, and spicy margaritas at this bar.
A smallish dining space with a flat-screen TV on one wall.
A lot has changed about this space but the wall TVs remain.
Large U-shaped booths inside a dining room.
Big groups can get comfortable in these spacious booths.

Solita Tacos & Margaritas Chicago

431 N. Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60654  (773) 312-4989 Visit Website
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