EQ Office, the U.S. office portfolio company wholly owned by Blackstone’s real estate funds, announced that Rick Bayless, seven-time James Beard award-winning chef, will debut Tortazo, a new premium fast-casual restaurant, at Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower. Tortazo will occupy more than 3,000 square feet inside Catalog, the five-story immersive dining, retail and entertainment experience, located at the base of the Tower.
Chef Bayless personally curated the menu of tortas, chilaquiles, bowls, salads and churros with a mission to bring the joyful discovery of authentic Mexican flavors to America. Core and seasonal offerings will showcase Mexican flavors and techniques using fresh, high quality ingredients that are largely sourced from local farms and producers. Tortazo will also feature a full bar with margaritas, palomas, beers and wines.
“Catalog is a vibrant neighborhood that’s representative of all the people who call Chicago home, and we’re thrilled that Chef Bayless chose to launch the first location of this exciting new concept at Willis Tower,” says David Moore, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Director at EQ Office. “Tortazo is a perfect fit for Catalog – the food will be incredible and the unique concept adds another moment of discovery and enticement for the more than 15,000 Chicago workers, residents and countless others who visit Willis Tower each day.”
The restaurant name is derived from combining the word Tortas, Mexico’s iconic, craveable sandwich, and –azo, a Spanish suffix used to emphasize the word it is appended to – to create Tortazo, “tortas with great impact.”
“I am in love with tortas because they combine the excitement of Mexican streetfood and deliciousness of every Mexican grandma’s kitchen,” said Chef Rick Bayless. “And we’ll bring this exiting, delicious essence to Tortazo diners by producing bold, flavorful foods served with great Mexican hospitality. Willis Tower is truly the best intersection in the city to capture both Chicago residents and tourists – it’s the ideal place for Tortazo.”
Tortazo will open in Q4 2019 and will serve lunch and dinner daily. Tortazo will join Brown Bag Seafood Co., Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken, Urbanspace, Shake Shack, Sweetgreen, Starbucks, Market Creations and Convene, which also have planned locations in Catalog.
Willis Tower is undergoing a more than $500-million renovation project, the biggest restorative transformation in the building’s 46-year history. The first phase of Catalog will open to the public in late 2019.