EDGEWATER — Cookies and Carnitas, a cafe and restaurant, opens Wednesday in the former Barry's Spot Pizza space on North Broadway.
Co-owner Brad Newman said he had spent the past couple of months renovating the storefront at 5757 North Broadway after he bought the restaurant's assets — including a 60-year-old pizza oven — from Barry's for $25,000.
"We did this guerilla style — This is just two people, cash," said Newman, 38, who founded Cookies and Carnitas as a Green City Market vendor three years ago with friend Mikey Taormina.
Newman, of Uptown, said they'd been looking throughout the Far North Side for the right place after their market stand — showcasing Becker Lane Organic farms "ultra-premium" pig, according to Taormina — became "wildly successful."
And they made a point to open in a "transitional neighborhood" like Edgewater, rather than a more-established Lincoln Park or Streeterville, said Newman, a former chef at the University of Chicago's members-only Quadrangle Club.
But, he added, "We're not here to be hipsters."
The new restaurant, however, does have a certain ironic vibe, perhaps most evident in its name.
Newman and Taormina, 39, plan to serve Sparrow Coffee and pastries, baked by well-known sushi chef Hari Chan, in one section of the business, and then carnitas sandwiches, tacos and pizzas — whole and by the slice — in a separate sit-down, BYOB section.
Other menu items include "The Beefy Cheezy," a $10 sandwich served with braised beef brisket, onion jam, Merkts cheddar spread, a-jus and a kaiser bun; the "Proprietary Dog," a $8.50 kosher-style hot dog served with spicy mexican pickle relish, mustard, spicy tomato mayo on an Italian roll; and, for dessert, the "Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich," stuffed with Haagen-Dazs ice cream and rolled in a choice of toppings.
Cookies and Carnitas hours are daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. beginning Wednesday.