SOUTHPORT CORRIDOR — Fans of Cafe Tola might find their social media declarations of love on display up the street.
Renovations are underway at 3751 N. Southport Ave., where Doña Tola will replace Sensational Bites, which closed in August. Over the past couple of weeks, a kind-of heart-shaped collage featuring Instagram posts and other photos from Cafe Tola appeared in the window of its future sister restaurant.
Named for the grandmother of owner Victoria Salamanca, Doña Tola will serve Latin comfort food such as braised pork with cactus and breaded steak. Cafe Tola, which opened in 2012, has no indoor seating and sells almost exclusively empanadas and espresso.
But those little empanadas have a big following.
A collage appeared at the start of the new year in the window of Doña Tola, 3751 N. Southport Ave. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
The collage includes a small sampling of Instagram photos pooled from customers and employees.
A mouth-watering shot from @sherriesavorsthecity of the black bean and goat cheese empanada comes with the advice to "come early coz they sell out fast!" Smiling customers and adorable girls in red dresses happily chow down on the 'nadas in other photos.
While the food gets plenty of Insta-love, Cafe Tola's bright, beautiful murals get big play in the collage, too.
Over three years, both sides of the little building have featured paintings of Frida Kahlo sporting Cubs and Blackhawks jerseys, posing as Rosie the Riveter and painting her own tiny faces. A portrait of Kanye West and his words, "Never think I'm not from Chicago for one second," currently appear on the opposite wall.
Also displayed in the window collage are various (and sometimes hilarious) portraits of Kahlo and what appear to be family photos. There's also a single photo of two sugar skulls with "Doña Tola" written on top.
Doña Tola is set to open early this year. Be sure to swing by to see this adorable collage before it's gone.
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