WICKER PARK — Providing culinary relief from the doughnut and coffee infusion that has taken over much of Damen Avenue near the CTA Blue Line "L" station, a new eatery led by prolific restaurateur Paul Kahan will add more Mexican cuisine to the busy strip.
Ranked No. 33 out of the 100 most influential people by Chicago magazine, Kahan shared the general concept of the new venture in an interview for the magazine's "Power 100" series.
Kahan said the new restaurant at 1543 N. Damen Ave., located in the former Cipollina cafe space, would be "like a sister to Big Star."
The restaurant would serve up Mexican food, too, but would be "slightly different in style [from Big Star]," Kahan told Penny Pollack.
Last March, Big Star confirmed that it would eventually be expanding and taking over the Catherine Caravette real estate office at 1537 N. Damen Ave.
The expansion will be used for a commissary kitchen and Big Star's patio will expand as a take-out window will be moved into the building, Peter Garfield, a One Off Hospitality partner said last March.
In September, when news of the new lease was announced, Big Star's landlord Catherine Caravette said she believed a third restaurant by her existing tenants would be "fun and great for the neighborhood."
Caravette said the news of Cipollina shuttering in July came as a surprise, even to her.