WEST TOWN — The Bonhomme Hospitality Group said Tuesday it still plans to open Porto, a Spanish-Portugese-influenced restaurant, in West Town but is now planning a fall opening.
Porto was originally slated to open in the summer at 1600 W. Chicago Ave. — next door to Beatnik, 1604 W. Chicago Ave.
Porto is a “love letter to the fishing villages and rural hamlets along the Atlantic Coast of Portugal and Galicia in northwestern Spain,” spokesperson Sally Carpenter said in the press release.
Bonhomme co-founder and managing partner Daniel Alonso grew up between the Midwest and his parents’ hometowns in Galicia.
He considers the Galician cities of Baiona and Ribeira second homes, as well as Vigo, home of the largest fishing port in Europe, Alonso said in a press release.
“At Porto, we want to share our love for the history, culture, food and, ultimately, people of Galicia and Portugal,” Alonso said.
To research the food and wine menu at Porto, Alonso recently traveled to European fishing villages with his Bonhomme partners, brothers Nader, Fadi and Rafid Hindo, and executive chef and Spaniard Marcos Campos.
The group sat with the fishmongers and farmers in small villages along the coast, including Azenhas do Mar, Cambados, Combarro, O Grove, Corrubedo, Porto and Viana do Castelo.
The menu at Porto will include conservas and exotic, fresh seafood and open-flame cooking.
Porto will breathe life back into a space previously left vacant by Byline Bank.
The 2,000 square-foot corner spot will feature an outdoor garden in the back.
In the past few years, West Town’s Chicago Avenue has undergone a destination-worthy rebirth, with new independently-owned shops and restaurants joining legacy businesses, like Alcala’s Western Wear.
Alonso told the Sun-Times in 2017 that he hopes to see Chicago Avenue develop the way Wicker Park developed during the 1990s, with a flourish of independent galleries, retail stores and hospitality venues.
“Our goal is to create concepts loaded with character and authenticity and in locations that share the same spirit, like Chicago Avenue and West Town,” Alonso told Block Club Chicago last year. “We are thrilled be growing in the neighborhood and to continue to be part of its story and evolution.”
In addition to the original Beatnik location in West Town that opened in 2017, Bonhomme also operates Beatnik on the Riverwalk and Cafe Bonhomme, two co-located spots that replaced Pearl Brassiere in the summer of 2018.
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