The interior of Mas Tacos, 4009 N. Elston Ave., on Sept. 12, 2023. Credit: Alex V. Hernandez/Block Club Chicago

IRVING PARK — The couple behind three popular barbecue spots on the North and Northwest sides have opened a taco joint in Irving Park. 

Mas Tacos, 4009 N. Elston Ave., had its soft opening earlier this month and is the latest restaurant from Gosia Pieniazek and Artur Wnorowski.

The husband-and-wife duo are also behind Ella’s BBQ in Lincoln Park, Earl’s BBQ in Jefferson Park and Firewood BBQ in Wicker Park. The couple previously ran the Lokal restaurants in Wicker Park and Lincoln Park.

Due to the popularity of tacos at their barbecue joints, the couple decided to open a taqueria. They successfully tested out this concept as a pop-up at the Harlem Irving Plaza shopping mall in suburban Norridge in 2021, Pieniazek said. 

“We already have tacos at Earl’s, Ella’s and Firewood, using our smoked brisket and pulled pork. We’ve been providing tacos to our customers for a long time. It’s a popular dish,” Wnorowski said.

Taco Max, the previous tenant at 4009 N. Elston Ave., consolidated their operations to their Albany Park location earlier this year. This opened the door for the couple to take over the Elston location for a permanent, sit-down version of Mas Tacos after some minor renovations, they said. 

The cast iron fajitas mix includes a melody of carne asada, shrimp and chicken cooked with onions, tomatoes and peppers and served with sides. Credit: Alex V. Hernandez/Block Club Chicago
Artur Wnorowski and Gosia Pieniazek pose outside Firewood BBQ, their third barbecue restaurant, in Wicker Park. Credit: Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago

Some of Mas Tacos’ dishes include carne asada, shrimp and chicken fajitas cooked in a cast iron skillet with onions, tomatoes, peppers and served with tortillas, rice, beans and a house salad. 

“We put a little bit of adobo sauce in the meat for that extra flavor,” Wnorowski said. 

The menu also features a variety of tacos, burritos and enchiladas, as well as American fare like an aioli smash burger and fried chicken sandwich served with chipotle peppers, pineapple, lime and onions. 

“And we’re serving it with kick-ass red and green salsas that we’ve been working on for years,” Wnorowski said.

Mas Taco’s hours during the soft opening are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The owners have applied for a liquor license, so those hours are subject to change once the license is approved, they said. 

“When we get a liquor license, we’ll be able to provide freshly squeezed lime juice for margaritas and even some ginger blueberry margaritas. Just have fun with the ingredients,” Wnorowski said.

The couple said they are almost done with a rear patio build-out and expect to have a grand opening sometime this month. 

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