The expert team from Chicago-based Mercadito Hospitality has announced two new concepts joining the group's notable portfolio–Mercadito Counter in Chicago and Mercadito Wheels in San Diego–as well as expansion of Mercadito to the Philadelphia market. Building on the popular and renowned Mercadito flagship concept, the group is poised for continued success with an enhanced presence in Chicago's thriving River North neighborhood and reaching new markets in Southern California and Philadelphia.
Managing partner Alfredo Sandoval has led the development of the new concepts, drawing from culinary experiences in his native Mexico and building on the flavorful menus found at Mercadito restaurants in New York, Miami, and Chicago.
"We're excited to reach new markets and build a larger following with the introduction of these new concepts," says Sandoval. "Our passion for sharing superior-quality dining experiences combined with our signature style and fun is as strong as ever."
Inspired Street Fare at Mercadito Counter
The best of Mexican and American street foods will collide at Mercadito Counter, Chicago, a Mexican deli concept that will call its first ticket this winter. Traditional street stands of Sandoval's native Acapulco and the deli counters of local corner stores inspired the Mercadito Counter menu as well as the design from Vincent Celano of Celano Design Studio. Mercadito fanatics will get their fix of Mercadito's famous tacos in addition to its takes on staples such as nachos, quesadillas, and enchiladas. Mercadito Counter's creativity comes into play with interpretations of American classics like the Mercadito Burger, chipotle onion rings, and gordita sliders, as well as an entire menu section dedicated to creative hot dog creations including the Lobster Dog, and Breakfast All-Day selections. The taqueria meets the delicatessen with the restaurant's Deli menu of to-go offerings of guacamoles, salsas, Mexican cheeses, marinated meats, tortillas and ready to eat foods.
A Mobile Mercadito with Mercadito Wheels
The rollout of Mercadito Wheels, San Diego, to launch late 2013, marks the first food truck for the hospitality group as well as the first concept to debut in the San Diego market.Mercadito Wheels brings together Mercadito Hospitality and San Diego native and managing partner of Mercadito Wheels, Pablo Becker, to offer Mexican street food favorites. Becker, a successful restaurateur and cousin to Alfredo Sandoval, has had an interest in opening a food truck for some time, and the Mercadito menu was a perfect fit for the concept.
In addition to a full menu dedicated to tacos, Mercadito Wheels' offerings include twists on Mexican classics such as nachos, flautas, esquites (corn with chile de arbol, epazote, and queso cotija), and more. The Tippling Bros. have also crafted a beverage menu to tantalize taste buds with on-truck agua fresca flavors of pineapple-ginger, strawberry-cinnamon, and cucumber-lime .
"The restaurant business is in our family's blood," Sandoval says. "My father was a restaurateur in Acapulco, Mexico, and when Pablo approached us about opening a food truck, it made sense to take the Mercadito concept to the streets for the first time in San Diego. We are thinking of this as the first of many food trucks in other cities as well."
Introducing Mercadito Philadelphia and Double A
In late 2014, the group's flagship concept, Mercadito, will heat up the Philadelphia market with a location in Rittenhouse Square. Featuring the creative Mexican cuisine for which the concept has become known for, the location will span nearly 6,000 square feet and will seat about 130. The location will also feature the underground lounge Double A, a stylish speakeasy concept that has become a mainstay in the Chicago late-night scene. Mercadito Philadelphia will be located at 2116 Chestnut Street.
With a menu that expertly blends traditional Mexican fare with creative interpretations of local and seasonal ingredients, Mercadito is modeled after the markets chef/partner Patricio Sandoval shopped at while growing up in his native Mexico. The food at Mercadito encompasses everything from handmade corn masa tortillas used for tacos to freshly prepared ceviches, guacamoles, and salsas. Designed for sharing, the family style meals artistically mingle the best of south-of-the-border taquerias and cantinas with local and seasonal ingredients making for an exciting and mouth-watering menu.
The new concepts follow the announcement of the forthcoming Tippling Hall in Chicago's River North neighborhood. Opening early 2014, Tippling Hall will offer globally inspired comfort food with a focus on late-night dining and beverage innovations from the Tippling Bros., Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci, who are also partners in Mercadito Hospitality. Conceived with the playful originality that is synonymous with the Mercadito Hospitality brand, Tippling Hall promises a spirited and comfortable atmosphere, with a loft space designed by Vincent Celano of Celano Design Studio.