THE LOOP — Hot tamales are moving into the Pedway.
Dia De Los Tamales plans to open within a few weeks in the shuttered Latinicity cafe on the lower level of Block 37, 108 N. State St., co-owner Jeni Wahl said.
The Block 37 shop is the second restaurant for Dia De Los Tamales, which first opened five years ago in Pilsen and now is a staple at many of Chicago's summer festivals.
Wahl said the Block 37 restaurant will expand on the Pilsen restaurant's offerings, adding Caribbean and Cuban-style tamales as well as a soft-serve machine dishing out pineapple and orange flavors.
The new restaurant should be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily in Block 37, the Loop mall between the Lake Red Line and Washington Blue Line stations, Wahl said.
"There’s like 100,000 people that walk through there very day so we’re excited to capture some of that commuter traffic," she said.
Dia De Los Tamales posted a sign announcing its intentions last week. [DNAinfo/Dave Newbart]
New offerings coming to the mall include arepas, or corn cakes, and pasteles, or Latin American pastries, Wahl said. Dairy-free "Dole whips" with pineapple and orange flavors will come out of a soft-serve machine, she said.
Wahl, who's Cuban, said she was inspired by her grandmother's recipes.
"Tamales are not just specific to just one country, they’re a staple in most of Latin and Central America and in the Caribbean," she said. "It’s fun to mix flavors."
Dia De Los Tamales will replace Loncheria, the shuttered Pedway café run by Block 37's Latinicity food hall. A Latinicity spokeswoman said the mall's third-floor food hall closed the Pedway café last month to focus on Pueblo, the new sit-down restaurant within Latinicity.