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Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

Team Behind Thalia Hall Opening Gourmet Grocery Shop And Grab-And-Go Deli In Pilsen

Opening in the old Belli's storefront, the new shop will serve sandwiches, salads and carry goods from several Pilsen businesses.

Paulette’s Public Market opens Thursday in Pilsen.
Paulette’s Public Market
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PILSEN — Nearly a year after Belli’s was booted from a Thalia Hall storefront, 16” on Center Hospitality has revealed its plans to replace the former Pilsen juice bar — a grab-and-go deli and gourmet grocery shop.

Paulette’s Public Market, conceived by 16″ On Center managing partner Phil Baber and chef Amanda Torres, is set to open Thursday at 1221 W. 18th St. in the neighborhood.

The new shop will be serving up gourmet sandwiches, prepared salads, dips, packaged charcuterie, and grab-and-go dinners. Sandwich options will include muffuletta, turkey-and-apple and a jerk-vegetable variety. Cabbage-and-quinoa slaw, a vegetable Greek salad, roasted beet salad, lemon chickpea salad also are on the menu.

At dinnertime, a whole rotisserie chicken, butchered meats and cuts of steak will be available. Supper options also include an herb-roasted pork loin with roasted baby potatoes and broccolini; lemon chicken with wild rice and rainbow carrots; veggie lasagna; and beef lasagna, a representative said.

Credit: Paulette’s Public Market
The jerk vegetable sandwich at Paulette’s Public Market.

Paulette’s Public Market will serve up drip coffee from also Near West Side coffee roaster Passion House, pastries from West Town Bakery and will carry goods from several Pilsen businesses, including Chocolat Uzma, El Milagro tortillas and V&V Supremo cheeses and meats.

In the coming weeks, the spot will also serve beer and wine.

The grab-and-go shop is named after Baber’s mother, Paulette, who would take him to Dekalb Farmers Market in Atlanta every Sunday and has been a constant source of support for him. He revealed to his mom that he was naming the shop after her in a Mother’s Day card.

“Growing up and visiting the Dekalb Market, I always knew that I wanted to open my own shop that offers high-quality ingredients, and I truly hope that Paulette’s Public Market can be a place for the community to enjoy fresh food and support local vendors in Pilsen,” Baber, a Pilsen resident, said in a statement.

Credit: Provided
16″ on Center managing partner Phil Baber, left, and Chef Amanda Torres, right.

The menu crafted by Torres, who has worked at Dusek’s, the Delta and the Promontory, promises to be “simple, high-quality food” that taps locally sourced ingredients and showcases Pilsen wholesalers.

Credit: Courtesy of Paulette’s Public Market
Marinated kale and black bean salad at Paulette’s Public Market in Pilsen.

In July 2018, Belli’s owner Alex Curatolo was notified by 16” on Center owners that they would not be renewing her lease five years after the juice shop opened in the remodeled storefront in historic Thalia Hall. At the time, Curatolo called the management decision “heartless.” The shop has since relocated to 1309 W. 18th St.

At the time, Thalia Hall co-owner Bruce Finkelman told Block Club they needed the “extra space.”

In the old Belli’s storefront, 16″ On Center built out Paulette’s, built an expanded green room for musicians performing at Thalia Hall and installed a new ADA-compliant restroom.

Credit: Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago
Paulette’s Public Market is set to open at 1221 W. 18th St.

Paulette’s Public Market will be open daily from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. 

Check out more photos of Paulette’s Public Market below:

Credit: Paulette’s Public Market
Paulette’s Public Market opens Thursday in Pilsen.
Credit: Paulette’s Public Market
Paulette’s Public Market
Credit: Paulette’s Public Market
Paulette’s Public Market
Credit: Paulette’s Public Market
Paulette’s Public Market
Credit: Courtesy of Paulette’s Public Market

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