ROGERS PARK — Bullhead Cantina, the hotly anticipated whiskey and taco bar, plans to open Friday night with a Valentine's Day tasting of 50-plus craft whiskeys.
In Colm Treacy's former MorseL space, Bullhead owner Francisco "Paco" Ruiz will open the doors at 6 p.m. in a neighborhood he says has "come a long way" in recent years.
"People are excited," he said Thursday night, sitting inside the renovated space at 1406 W. Morse Ave. "People have actually ventured out to Humboldt Park and wanted to try what my tacos are about."
Ruiz opened his original location in February 2012 and is confident he'll fair better than the building's previous tenant, which opened and closed within a year.
"It is a big place," he said. "Sometimes people say [just because] one place is successful doesn't mean another one is going to be successful, but I really believe in my concept, I believe in my product. I have great tacos."
The 45-year-old former architect and cancer survivor said the concept of Rogers Park's Bullhead would closely resemble the original, including its $6 No Bulls--- Special, consisting of a taco, a shot of whiskey and a tallboy of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
The cantina also will have craft beers and cocktails and "not-your-typical" tacos, he said, such as the $3 grits-and-kale taco.
All tacos are served on house-made tortillas. He said he also would serve burgers and salads.
Ruiz also owns Hunter & Tails, a newly opened gastropub at 2700 W. Chicago Ave. in Humboldt Park.
Friday's tasting costs $25 per person, but anyone would be allowed to order from the bar or from the menu during the tasting.
Ruiz said he's planning a craft beer tasting on Saturday.
Bullhead will be open at 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays, noon-1:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays (except this Saturday, when Bullhead will open at 5 p.m.), and noon-midnight Sundays.