The Shutter: Amidst Tax Debt, Tavernita Swiftly Closes Down

Eater Chicago

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[Photo: Tavernita]

No alcohol or food was served last night at Tavernita. Mercadito Hospitality's large Spanish-themed restaurant and bar did not open at all yesterday and swiftly closed for good, Mercadito's rep confirms, amidst nearly $75,000 of tax debt and a revoked liquor license.

Tavernita and the adjoining bar Barcito, a collaboration between Mercadito Hospitality and former chef/partner Ryan Poli, was a glitzy hotspot before it even opened in January 2012 in the former home of Martini Park. It had inventive kegged cocktails from in-house beverage gurus the Tippling Bros, a miniature dog as a mascot, frequent guest chef events, and Poli's food, inspired by his time in Spain. Poli left the restaurant in October 2013 to "stop and reinspire," and was replaced by Guillermo Tellez in December.

Ownership and representatives did not submit further explanation on the decision, which left many employees out of work, only saying that "a new Mercadito Hospitality concept in the Tavernita space has not been decided at this time." Mercadito is still planning to open Tippling Hall in the fall, more locations in Las Vegas, and have "finalized plans to bring our flagship concept to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C."
· All Tavernita Coverage [-ECHI-]
· All Mercadito Hospitality Coverage [-ECHI-]
· All Shutters [-ECHI-]

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