New Restaurant From Mercadito Owners, Tavernita, to Open This Summer
Mercadito Gets a Sister Spot This Summer With Tavernita
The guys from Mercadito obviously get what makes an incredible restaurant: addictive dishes, delicious cocktails, and a hip vibe that makes for great people watching. This Summer, they're going to do it again with the European-inspired Tavernita, set to open at 151 W. Erie St. (check out owners the Sandoval brothers discussing the latest concept in the video below). Instead of the three-bite tacos and guacamole that have made Mercadito a hit, Tavernita will be serving up Mediterranean- and Latin-inspired small plates in River North.
The massive space will contain three areas: a Barcito for cocktailing, a 210-seat main dining room, including a raw bar and a 24-seat stone bar for those looking to linger, and a dining lounge offering late-night bites and lighter fare. Also look for an outdoor dining area to open this Spring.
While Tavernita will undoubtedly look cool — expect a copper tin ceiling in the dining room, a large bull's head by the bar, and artworks and murals by 3-D graffiti-style artist Erni Vales — food is at the center of the concept. Chef Ryan Poli just announced he'll leave Perennial to head up the kitchen. The small-plates menu will offer an oysters and crudo bar, cured selections of house-made charcuterie, and small plates ranging from grilled baby octopus and a variety of gazpacho to homemade pastas. You'll also find a selection of meats including local beef, Bakers Lane pork, and Spanish-style chorizo grilled on an Uruguayan wood fire grill. The food will be complemented by modernized classic cocktails, craft beers, and unique wines from around the world. I'll keep you updated on the progress as Tavernita prepares to open sometime this Summer.