LOGAN SQUARE — The owner of a popular chain of fondue restaurants is bringing a new Asian and Latin fusion fast casual restaurant to the border of Wicker Park and Logan Square.
If all goes as planned, Baocos, 1904 N. Western Ave., could open by late April, said owner Ervin Emery, CEO of The Melting Pot, which started 22 years ago and has spots Downtown and in Naperville and Schaumburg.
Pronounced bow-kohz, Baocos is a fusion of burritos and bao tacos, according to the restaurant's menu, which also serves up salads, ramen and made-to-order rice or quinoa bowls topped with steak, ahi tuna, chicken and other proteins.
A $120,000 building permit for the interior renovations of the 44-seat eatery, next to a new Subway sandwich shop, was issued earlier this month.
Though not technically part of CTA property, Baocos, will be tucked under the CTA Blue Line Western "L" tracks and in front of the No. 49 Western bus stop.
Alisa Hauser details the menu highlights:
"It's our first entry into the city, and it was selected because I love the Blue line, the location. It's one of the busiest stops with a big bus stop right out front and in a great up-and-coming area between Wicker Park and Logan Square," Emery said.
Baoco's tortillas will be made on-site. Asian Bao bread will be used to create steamed tacos that will contain meat cooked on a $30,000 rotisserie fire grill.
"We do not steam pan or keep the meat in a pan full of saturated fat. We serve it up immediately and do not blanch it," Emery said of the cooking process, which is being perfected by a full-time chef he brought on nearly two years ago.
Most dishes will cost between $9 to $12, Emery said.
In addition to lunch and dinner, Baocos will offer a breakfast menu with about four items to target commuters. Emery said he initially is going to open at 6 a.m. but might change the opening hour to 7 a.m.
Desserts will include a skillet cookie topped with ginger ice cream, crispy Asian mochi ice cream coated in sweet corn flakes and "boabolini," soft fritters drizzled with sea salt and caramel.
Hiring is underway, and Emery said he expects to bring 18 to 20 jobs to the area.
Baocos, 1904 N. Western Ave., Hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday- Thursday; 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Ph: 847-417-9139.
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