WICKER PARK — Kokopelli, a Chicago version of a Tijuana-based food truck and taco stand named after the Hopi god of fertility, has released its full menu and is set to open Thursday across from the Wicker Commons shopping mall.
Located at 1324 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the former Between Lounge, Kokopelli will specialize in charcoal-grilled seafood tacos, as well as offer meat and vegetarian tacos, tortas, salads and ceviche.
Desserts include flan and Mexican hot chocolate.
The "Lagrimas de Lucifer" salsa, made with beets and roasted habanero peppers, is among six varieties of salsas.
Mexican beers, including eight craft brews, and eight custom cocktails will be available, too.
Kokopelli's bar manager Anthony Rogers, who previously worked at Between Lounge, said his favorite cocktail is "The Smoky Way," which features Mezcal, grapefruit juice and lime topped with egg whites.
Rogers said Kokopelli will also offer 45 tequilas, 46 bourbons and two sangrias: red and white.
Owner Gerardo Santiago said it was a business trip last year to Tijuana where he ate tacos at Kokopelli that inspired him to partner with the food truck's owner, chef Guillermo "Oso" Campos, his brother Pablo Campos and Orlando "Cricket" Miguel del Monte.
Santiago said Kokopelli, which will be open only for dinner during the week, and lunch and dinner on weekends, will bring about 40 new jobs to the area.
On a visit to the 90-seat eatery on Tuesday, chef Campos said he would be staying in Wicker for two months to train Saul Roman, who will be Kokopelli's main executive chef.
"Our passion is seafood. What's different for us is we are a place of free expression for food, we are just doing what feels right," Campos said.
Santiago said he selected Wicker Park for Kokopelli's first location outside of Mexico because of the neighborhood's "young and hipster crowd."
"It's well known for its rapid growth and popularity for young artists, students and many young families. I felt this concept would be a perfect fit for the neighborhood," Santiago said.
Kokopelli, 1324 N. Milwaukee Ave. Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Monday to Wednesday; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday-Friday; noon to 2 a.m. Saturday; noon to 12 a.m. Sunday. Ph: 773-698-7670
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