PORTAGE PARK — A popular Lakeview restaurant focusing on new American cuisine is slated to open its second location in Portage Park Friday after permit delays.
Bluebird is taking over the restaurant and patio space at 3938 N. Central Ave., which formerly housed Cochinita Taco Co. and The Portage. The restaurant group announced the news last month and had hoped to be open by the beginning of June, but the opening was delayed, owner Zachary Lucchese-Soto said.
The location passed its health, building and fire inspections at the end of May, but the owners didn’t get the green light to open as officials investigated whether a long-vacant church behind the restaurant might reopen.
New liquor licenses cannot be issued to businesses located within 100 feet of a church.
The restaurant team appealed the city’s investigation process and won last week, the owner said.
Although Bluebird plans to open Friday, it won’t serve brunch this weekend while the staff gets acquainted with the menu, Lucchese-Soto said.
“We’re trying to get all new members of staff acclimated to our menu and prepping out all our recipes,” he said. “It’s a lot even for seasoned chefs because everything is done from scratch.”
Known for comfort and classic American grub, Bluebird will have a brunch menu and sit-down food options, cocktails and local draft beers on rotation, the owner 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.
Bluebird’s Portage Park spot will be open 4-10 p.m. Mondays, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: