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Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Norwood Park

Bluebird Bringing Brunch And Comfort Food To Former Cochinita Taco Location In Portage Park

The spot should be open toward the end of the month, the owner said. The first Bluebird opened in Lakeview in 2016.

Bluebird, which offers classic American dishes, is taking over the restaurant and patio space at 3938 N. Central Ave.
Zachary Lucchese-Soto; Bluebird/Instagram
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PORTAGE PARK — A Lakeview restaurant focusing on new American cuisine is expanding to the Northwest Side.

Bluebird is taking over the restaurant and patio space at 3938 N. Central Ave., which formerly housed Cochinita Taco Co. What Now Chicago was first to report on the second location.

Known for comfort and classic American grub, Bluebird will have a brunch menu and more sit-down food options, expanded cocktails and rotations from local draft beers, owner Zachary Lucchese-Soto said.

Residents can expect brunch dishes, including avocado prosciutto toast, chicken and waffles with habanero-infused maple syrup and loco moco, a Hawaiian dish that consists of a burger patty and brisket short ribs with white rice, mushroom gravy and poached egg.

Lucchese-Soto said his team’s innovative recipes have helped the business grow, and they crafted the brunch menu based on items he and his team would want to try.

“The chefs are very talented, [so] the menu will be eclectic,” Lucchese-Soto said.

For lunch, the menu will feature more pub-style food, including fish and chips and a bangers and mash plate. The Portage Park location will still offer Bluebird staples, including a variety of burgers, sandwiches and salads, Lucchese-Soto said.

Lucchese-Soto, a lifelong Chicagoan who lives in Uptown, said the Portage Park location stood out to him immediately and is a natural fit for the company’s expansion. The larger space is across from the neighborhood’s namesake park and in a business district.

Portage Park got on Lucchese-Soto’s radar when his friends moved to the area to start a family, he said. He’s learned about more young families settling down on the Northwest Side and is considering moving here himself, he said.

“Portage Park is the next venture,” he said. “If you are in your 30s, it’s a great area to [settle down]. It’s up and coming and will be the next hot area in the city.”

The neighborhood has seen a flurry of businesses opening or moving here. This year, Tatas Tacos opened a location in Portage Park, and Cuban joint Tropicuba opened a spot last year. A pierogi cafe recently opened a few blocks away from the park, and developments are coming to Six Corners.

Lucchese-Soto hopes to open his second location by the end of the month. The space is fully outfitted, and city inspectors are scheduled to visit next week, he said. Licensing permits are awaiting final approval.

“We’re ready to go — we’re just waiting on the city,” he said.

Lucchese-Soto opened the Lakeview location at 2863 N. Clark St. in 2016 after operating successful food trucks and a catering company. Lucchese-Soto said he hopes Bluebird will become a staple eatery with regular charity and sponsorship events and its team getting involved in the community.

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