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Rick Bayless Reveals Exciting Details About His New West Loop Spot

By Anthony Todd in Food on Mar 18, 2016 4:52PM

Bayless in an improvised chef coat bearing the names of the new spots.

We've known that Rick Bayless was opening a West Loop... something for a while now. There has been info released about a brewery, rumors of a potential restaurant. But this morning, Bayless himself took to Facebook to announce more about the new spot. Here's what we know.

1. There will be a brewery: Cruz Blanca Cervecería. "[A] brewery inspired by Strasbourg native Emil Dercher’s 1869 Mexico City spot. We’re specializing in the Emil’s classic Biere de Garde, crafted as his was with local products. It’ll be a tasting room."

2. The brewery will have tacos. "Oaxaca-style half-cured flank tasajo, red chile pork cecina and chorizo (plus chicken and portobellos — I think you know why) piled on a tray with wood-grilled peppers, knob onions, lime wedges. Smoky Oaxacan pasilla salsa, avocado salsa, crunchy pico de gallo, grilled nopal cactus, limey cucumbers. Handmade tortillas. All from about the tiniest kitchen you've ever seen. Beer making takes up a lot of space."

3. There's a totally new restaurant next door, Lena Brava, that we hadn't heard about yet—and it's from a new region for Bayless, Baja California. "I’ve spent a lot of time in the northern part of Baja California over the last decade. There are amazing wineries there, ones that keep winning awards everywhere. And there’s incredible seafood, and chefs who have risen up to join the ranks of the world’s best. And what ties all of them together is the grill, the hearth, the wood-fired oven."

4. The kitchen is totally wood-fired. He brags that there is not even a gas hookup in the space.

5. Expect some great seafood. "When you taste our Baja-inspired menu with gorgeous yellowtail and opah and sea urchin and abalone from those fertile Baja waters . . . you may understand why I love Baja so much."

They are aiming to be open within the next two months.