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Former Southport Restaurant Frida's Reviving in 'Burbs Next Year

By Serena Dai | October 17, 2013 6:24am
 Mexican restaurant Frida's used to be at 3757 N. Southport Ave.
Mexican restaurant Frida's used to be at 3757 N. Southport Ave.
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DNAinfo/Serena Dai

LAKEVIEW — Southport diners missing the mole and fish tacos of shuttered Mexican restaurant Frida's may be able to taste them again next year, though in the suburbs.

Owner Maroene Benitez plans to open a fresh version of Frida's — possibly with a different name — in suburban Lake Forest next year, she said. Frida's closed due to rising rents at 3757 N. Southport Ave. in August after six years on the street. 

Frida's signature dishes like the mole, oaxano and fish tacos will return, but the menu will be smaller and change regularly based on fresh ingredients, Benitez said.

Benitez opened Frida's as an homage to her childhood, when she learned to cook from her grandmother in a neighborhood in Mexico. Artist Frida Kahlo once lived in the same neighborhood, and her life, art and love of cooking inspired Benitez. 

"I didn’t just want to open a Mexican restaurant," she said. "I wanted to open one where I incorporated Frida Kahlo."

But city rents were too high, Benitez said. She's also helping out with her daughter's restaurant La Taquiza in suburban Northbrook, which had a location in Andersonville until high rents pushed her to shutter that, too.

A new Lake Forest location next year will be "more quaint" than Southport's, she said. Her fervor for food, though, will be the same.

"They’re really elaborate dishes," she said. "They taste better when you put feeling into them."