LOGAN SQUARE — The surprise announcement of a second location of L'Patron might have been the best-kept secret of the taco-loving, foodie world.
The upcoming taqueria has been in the works since the owners of L'Patron bought their new building in 2013. There was a constant hint parked out front for anyone who took a close look.
"People probably saw my truck outside and figured there was something going on," said Cesar Gonzalez, who owns L'Patron with his brother Ernesto.
The license plates?
The grand plan was to completely rehab the new restaurant, 3749 W. Fullerton Ave., and open it as a second location next year.
That was until the landlord at the current taqueria presented the owners with a rent increase from their current rate of about $3,000 per month on Diversey Avenue to about $6,000 per month next year, Cesar Gonzalez said.
"It's like throwing a wrench into the spokes," Ernesto Gonzalez said. "When you are riding a bicycle and someone just throwing a wrench at you."
With the proverbial wrench being thrown and the lease at 2815 W. Diversey Ave. up at the end of October, the brothers sped up plans on their new location and will open to the public Saturday.
The outdoor back patio at the new L'Patron location will have seating for between 40 and 50 guests. [DNAinfo/Paul Biasco]
The decision on whether to keep the original location has yet to be finalized, but the rent increases that were presented to the brothers would mean tacos would likely jump from around $2.50 per taco to $4 per taco if the quality of ingredients were to stay the same.
"We got to work out the numbers we are still undecided," said Ernesto Gonzalez, the chef. "A lot of factors come into play because now it's two restaurants. We have to hire more managers in order to keep the consistency. If the numbers don’t add up, then the numbers don’t add up. It’s still up in the air."
The menu prices at the new L'Patron will remain the same as the current location, but guests will see about five new items available each night during dinner in addition to the usual tacos, tortas and burritos.
A vastly larger prep kitchen in the basement will allow for Gonzalez to get more creative and add items including a steak burger, ceviche and a Mexico City-style quesadilla with queso Chihuahua and banana peppers.
"It's nothing major major," Ernesto Gonzalez said of the changes. "It's the same style, fast food served right."
The major changes include a large brick-walled patio with seats for between 40 and 50 customers and an expanded dining area compared to the current restaurant.
The restaurant will be BYOB and will be open until 10 p.m. six days a week.
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