Because nothing says summer like tacos and tequila, the sprawling Federales Tequila & Tacos (180 N. Morgan St., West Loop, 773-831-9696) will offer plenty of both—plus a fully retractable roof—when it opens in early June. This is the second joint venture from Four Corners Tavern Group (Benchmark, Gaslight) and Brendan Sodikoff’s prolific Hogsalt Hospitality (Three Greens Market, C.C. Ferns, Bavette’s), which collaborated on SteakBar last month.
“[Federales] is going to be a great neighborhood bar [with] incredible food,” says Four Corners director Ryan Indovina. “Taking you to that place across the border with a cold drink in hand—that vacation place.”
Inspired by Mexico’s roadside taco joints, Federales will specialize in barbacoa-style tacos, starring such slow-cooked meats as pork belly al pastor and shredded beef brisket, served with warm corn or flour tortillas and taco trimmings. Rounding out the menu will be three to four daily ceviches like tuna, octopus, and shrimp, plus playful shareables from giant loaded nachos to house-made guacamole—best washed down with a few cold ones.
Speaking of cold ones, they’ll include house-made margaritas: namely classic, mezcal, hibiscus, and the Iceberg—a Corona Light draft topped with a frozen marg; a south-of-the-border-focused beer list; and tequila shots served in shot glasses made of ice.
The lofty, laidback space—designed by Karen Herold of Studio K—will seat 176, anchored by a big wood island bar over which the retractable roof opens. Outside, the 154-seat tequila garden is accessible through (also) retractable, garage-style windows spanning the width of the building. Indovina promises the vacation spirit will remain even when the weather cools down, via lots of natural light and year-round fiesta-ing.