Son of a Butcher Tavern, a new restaurant from restaurateur Adolfo Garcia (Pearl Tavern) and chef Frank Valdez (Pearl Tavern, Mexique), will be opening its doors at 2934 W. Diversey Ave. on the northern border of Logan Square on June 5. [Editor’s Note: The address previously said “Parkway,” but the road is Diversey Avenue west of the river.] SOB’s concept is inspired by Garcia’s grandfather’s butcher shop Mexico City, where culture and tavern life surrounded cuisine. The restaurant had a preview at Bacon Fest in Chicago back in April that was “incredible,” according to Garcia, and SOB was voted one of the top 10 dishes for its Bacon Oyster Rockefeller Sausage.
Son of a Butcher Tavern came out of a conversation between Garcia and Valdez, when Garcia considered opening a restaurant that reminded him of his childhood—the back of his grandfather’s butcher shop in Mexico City, which connected to a tavern. The foods served in the back of the house were the “leftovers,” which are now considered delicacies.
Atmosphere was as important as the food. His grandfather was not only a butcher, but a political activist in Mexico in the 1950s. “It was politics, football and lots of yelling by Grandma,” Garcia says.
Food, of course, though, is what brings people together. Frank Valdez, who won Michelin stars in 2013 and 2014 while working at Mexique (1529 W. Chicago Ave.), will create simple and flavorful dishes, using quality meats from local farmers.
“The food being served will be putting the meals that most butchers, cooks, chefs and farmers serve when a small gathering takes place. We want to open our doors to celebrate the back of the house culture of good food, simple cocktails, great music and a sense of community,” says Valdez.
The meats will be wood-grilled using pallets made from reclaimed wood chips, as the owners are conscious of their impact on the environment. “We will be using grills that use compressed wood pellets made from remnants of various types of wood. Just as the beef necks, pork cheeks, duck hearts and other meats I will feature were long ago seen as throwaways, the pellets will replace the need to cut down trees from a shrinking forest,” says Valdez.
Meat Me For Brunch
When SOB opens in June, it will feature an entire month showcasing what it calls the “Ham Program.” There will be complimentary tasting of meats with wine, beer or dining orders.
Owner Garcia is most excited about the brunch concept, which will feature a slow-roasted suckling pig every weekend that can be purchased by the pound. There will be different sides each weekend, as well, which will be inspired by different culinary cultures—for instance, one weekend may feature sides inspired by Korean cuisine that compliment the suckling pig.
The pigs will come from a different farm each week. “One such purveyor is Kim Snyder from Faith’s Farm in Bonfield, Ill., whose love and passion for her animals are second to none,” says Valdez. “Son of a Butcher will not forget about the non-meat-eating members of the community with many vegetarian options, such as a slow cooked mushroom sandwich with house-made giardiniera, rice cracklins with charred salsa verde and seasonal dishes highlighting the vegetables of the moment.”
Manger Adam Reiman’s focus on the tavern portion of Son of a Butcher will be local beers and ciders on the 10 taps, and plenty of whiskey options for what the owners describe as “an old man cocktail bar.”
Owner Garcia will also be hand-picking the wine list. The list will be small, featuring new boutique wines every month.
Home In—Or Near—Logan Square
The owners say they needed to find the right community that could embrace what will be happening at Son of a Butcher. Garcia has been fond of Logan Square for over a decade. He is impressed by the fact that Logan Square is “doing something with quality that is underappreciated in other cities…what blends Logan Square is the idealistic concept of people, respect and hospitality. It’s a neighborhood i am very proud to be part of,” he says.
Son of a Butcher will technically be in Avondale, since it’s on the north side of Diversey Parkway. The restaurant culture in Logan Square and Avondale has been on the radar thanks to farm-to-table restaurants like Longman & Eagle (2657 N. Kedzie Ave.), Lula Cafe (2537 N. Kedzie Ave.) and Honey Butter Chicken (3361 N. Elston Ave.). Son of a Butcher’s Valdez hopes to become part of this passionate and unique foodie community.
“I think that the Logan Square/Avondale neighborhood has many businesses that are owned and operated by extremely honest and passionate individuals who share a similar commitment in planting roots in the community. I see Son of a Butcher as fitting in nicely with existing neighbors such as Fat Rice, Masa Azul, Cellar Door Provisions, Fleur, L’Patron, Barbara & Barbara, Lost Lake, etc.,” says Valdez. “I see SOB as being a complimentary business to other established venues.”
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