The Sun Rey Cafe, 1357 N. Western Ave., in Wicker Park Credit: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago

WICKER PARK — A family-owned breakfast restaurant featuring Filipino-influenced dishes is now open in Wicker Park.

Sun Rey Cafe, 1357 N. Western Ave., took over the former Hash spot in Wicker Park last month. Hash abruptly closed earlier this year just a few months after reopening for indoor dining.

The new restaurant is owned by Ruby Tucker and her son, Tobi, with help from their husband and dad Larry Tucker, a longtime Chicago chef and restaurateur who operates Crazy Bird Chicken, 1160 W. Grand Ave.

Ruby and Tobi Tucker moved to the United States from the Philippines more than a decade ago and have incorporated Filipino dishes onto the menu.

Larry Tucker said the most popular item so far has been the Manila Breakfast, which features longganisa sausage, a Filipino staple.

The dish is “just selling like crazy,” Tucker said.

Other options range from omelettes and frittatas to quesadillas and hashes. The restaurant also has burgers and chicken sandwiches for lunch, as well as pancit noodles with a choice of protein.

Larry and Tobi Tucker at Sun Rey Cafe, 1357 N. Western Ave, which took over the former Hash brunch spot in Wicker Park. Co-owner Ruby Tucker was not available to be interviewed. Credit: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago

Larry Tucker himself has a long history of working in Chicago restaurants, including as a chef at Mike Ditka’s in ’80s. He’s also run a barbecue joint and a Jewish deli, he said.

On top of breakfast service, Tucker and his family hope to host regular pop-up meals at Sun Rey, he said. That could include Filipino and barbecue dinners where diners would make reservations ahead of time. They’re also considering launching a fried chicken dinner option on the weekends.

Tucker said the restaurant has busy been on the weekends, and he hopes that will extend to lunch service during the week.

“The people are special here. Trust me, I’ve opened up in many neighborhoods. But here, there’s something special,” he said.

Sun Rey Cafe is open Wednesday-Sunday for breakfast and lunch. The restaurant is BYOB.


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