WEST TOWN — The team behind Black Bull and Beatnik will officially open Porto next week West Town.
The Portugese-Spanish restaurant will open Tuesday at 1600 W. Chicago Ave. in a space previously occupied by Byline Bank, spokesperson Sally Carpenter said.
The menu at Porto has a heavy focus on seafood, conservas — preserved tin cans of seafood — and imported family-owned wines. Every meal is cooked over an open flame using wood and within view of customers, Daniel Alonso said.
The restaurant is a “love letter” to Alonso’s childhood, which was split between the Midwest and his parents’ hometowns in Galicia.
“To be able to drop such an interesting and heartfelt business on a corner that is the western gateway of Chicago Avenue, that’s real value in [the] neighborhood,” Alonso said. “This is a reminder of how fantastic Chicago Avenue is and how fantastic West Town is.”
Porto will be open 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
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 has spent the last two decades bouncing between West Town and Wicker Park. He currently lives in Wicker Park with his wife and three children.
He said he hopes to see Chicago Avenue develop the way Wicker Park developed during the 1990s, with a healthy mixture of independent galleries, retail stores and hospitality venues.
“I just genuinely love the neighborhood,” he said. “I have for 20 years.”
In addition to the original Beatnik location in West Town that opened in 2017, Bonhomme also operates Beatnik on the Riverwalk and Cafe Bonhomme.
The restaurant group also has plans for an upscale cocktail lounge in Wicker Park, at the corner of Paulina and Milwaukee avenues.
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