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One of Chicago’s premier taquerias is preparing to reopen 14 months after a fire

It’s been 14 months since a fire burned down on Taylor Street in Jarabe, one of the best taquerias in town. Jarabe is characterized above all by its morning offers. Chicago is not Austin, Texas or San Antonio – or whatever city in the Lone Star State that invented the breakfast taco. It’s hard to find a delicious breakfast taco in the Midwest, but Jarabe always gets through.

A location in Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall in Chicago’s Medical District on the Near West Side kept business going. Originally, brothers Teddy and Alexis Vejar vowed to reopen in the same location at 2255 W. Taylor Street in Tri-Taylor, but they would later turn around and look for a new location nearby. Alexis Vejar says inspectors never revealed the true cause of the July 2020 fire that broke out and spread on a neighboring roof. It was just decided by chance.

The Vejars have good news after weathering the pandemic: they have found a place. A new location is slated to open at 1104 W. Taylor Street in Little Italy in early 2022, just down the street from the fire damaged area. The new Jarabe will be larger with space for around 40 people inside and a terrace with 20 to 25 seats.

Alexis Vejar also hinted at another place in the works that will be even bigger, a place where they will have room for a tortilleria. He’s not ready to reveal details yet, but he and his brother are excited. He wants to make their next venue something that his Mexican community can be proud of. They plan to expand the menu beyond tacos and tortas.

“We really want to take that to the next level culturally,” he says.

Jarabe once had a location at 749 S. Western Avenue – the original location of Gene and Jude’s, the famous hot dog in the suburbs of River Grove. Vejar says they served Sonoran hot dogs as a kind of homage to the former tenant. The item could return to its new locations. Jarabe started as a food truck and has grown: “We had a few attempts and failures,” says Alexis Vejar. “But everything happened for a reason, and we’re trying to take things a little further. We really want to do something special. “

Jarabe, 1104 S. Taylor Street, slated to open in early January.

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