BRIDGEPORT — Antique Taco is now open for business.
Owners Rick and Ashley Ortiz opened the doors at 5 p.m. Wednesday, welcoming a long line of hungry customers to try the neighborhood’s newest Mexican restaurant at 1000 W. 35th St.
And goodness, does the menu look tasty.
The opening at the former home of a gas station, chicken shack and Mr. Submarine follows four busy years at the original Antique Taco in Wicker Park and serves as a homecoming for Rick Ortiz, who grew up in the neighborhood.
His mother, Mary Ortiz, is happy to have her son back in Bridgeport.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “We’re just so excited."
The restaurant at the corner of 35th and Morgan streets adds to a hefty list of taco shops in the neighborhood, but the main difference at Antique Taco is the outdoor patio lined with picnic tables.
Antique Taco has a walk-up window for customers who want to stay in the sun.
He ordered tacos for his staff and chatted with his culinary comrades.
Dave Samber also showed up. The owner of the Polo Café just a couple of blocks up Morgan said he always makes it a point to support neighborhood businesses.
"This is really going to help me out," Samber said. "I'm thrilled they're here."
Famished customers waited in a line that stretched out the door and down the block.
Antique Taco’s Bridgeport menu includes classics such as the chili cheese curds and pork carnitas, but you’ll find some additions — like the “Super Crunchy” taco: Crunchy shell, grilled octopus, chorizo, Aji mayo, cabbage and mint.
And the garlic shrimp taco: Sweet corn elote, garlic mayo, parmesan, hot sauce, avocado, basil, salsa and crispy onion.
One of the most popular items Wednesday was the potato and poblano taco:
Antique Taco’s beer menu includes Mexican standards including Tecate, Modelo and Victoria.
But there are also house rosemary margaritas on draft. Customers drained quite a few of those on the patio.
Neighborhood folks seemed to embrace the laid-back dinner spot.
"It's a good step for the neighborhood," said Chip Williams, a retired special effects and makeup artist who ordered up some tacos with his wife.
Antique Taco is open 5-10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 5-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 5-10 p.m. Sundays, and closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
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