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The hospitality group behind Big Star is opening a new spinoff restaurant called Big Star Mariscos, coming to West Town at 551 N. Odgen Ave.
This is the latest project from One Off Hospitality Group, which also operates Avec and Publican Quality Bread. The new 6,000 square-foot location will sit in a unique triangle plot of land that previously housed Mahoney’s and 551 Live at the center of streets Ogden, Racine, and Ohio. Unlike Big Star, which is focused on bourbon and tacos, Big Star Mariscos will focus on seafood with a tweak on the restaurant’s tortillas. The company’s third location is expected to open in Fall 2022.
Big Star Mariscos will have a large patio for 60 people, while the restaurant’s inside can fit twice the amount. Customers can expect coastal Mexican inspired classics such as aguachile and ceviche, as well as visually spectacular dishes such as whole fish. Many of the fish served come from Mexico’s coastal regions, including Baja, Ensenada, Vera Cruz, and Yucatan. The restaurant is being designed by Chicago-based Present Future Architects, focusing on a blue color palette.
Big Star opened in 2009 in Wicker Park after One Off co-founder Paul Kahan was inspired by Bakersfield’s migrant worker community. The fast-casual option became a popular yet drastically different concept from the hospitality group, which usually produces high-end restaurants that attract Michelin inspectors. Big Star proved so successful that it expanded inside the United Center in 2015 before closing for a Stephanie Izard restaurant four years later. The company finally expanded to a second location in Wrigleyville in 2018.