Mara Baer and Manuel Moreno lived together in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in Cádiz, Spain, for five years before returning to Chicago about a year and a half ago. Nostalgic, they used the Plaza del Cabildo, a square near their Spanish home, as the model for The Spanish Square (1358 W. Belmont Ave., 773-717-7900), their market and restaurant coming to Lake View this summer.
The market will stock items such as jamón ibérico, cheeses, rice and paste for paella, spices, and saffron, as well as cookware like paella pans. The restaurant will sell tapas both cold and hot (the little sandwiches called montaditos among them), plus Spanish sherries, riojas, and albariños to drink.
Moreno serves as chef, cooking family recipes. Baer’s father made the tables. “[We thought,] wouldn’t it be fun to open a store and import all the delicious things we love about Spain?” Baer says. Sounds great, but the Spanish import we really wish they could institute here is the siesta.