If you're heading to Tavernita and planning to drink alcohol, make sure to bring some with you. That's because the Spanish hotspot from Mercadito Hospitality, known for its inventive kegged cocktail beverage program and see-and-be-seen vibe, currently has no liquor license.
A state document, displayed below, shows that the Illinois Liquor Commission revoked Tavernita's liquor license on July 17 for failing to pay nearly $75,000 in back taxes, yet eventually gave the restaurant until August 1 to make good. A state representative says Tavernita's license will be restored when ownership "pays back taxes and/or agrees to a repayment plan with the Department of Revenue," but this tax debt—and inability to serve liquor—has still festered for weeks. Tavernita reservationists are informing callers of the restaurant's current BYOB status.
While Mercadito finally opened its "Mexican deli" this morning, Tippling Hall, which was first reported in December 2012, was supposed to open by fall 2013 but has yet to materialize. Mercadito Hospitality shuttered a New York outpost earlier this month and reconcepted Little Market Brasserie into the casual Mercadito Fish. The company opened a Mercadito in Las Vegas in June and have more Sin City projects in the pipeline.
A Mercadito representative expects Tavernita's liquor license to be restored within a few days but Mercadito partner Alfredo Sandoval did not respond to a request for comment. Read through the state document below.