Big Star taqueria & bar
The room is warm and inviting, much like chef/partner Paul Kahan’s other establishments Avec and The Publican. Lots of pale blond wood and a gentle, embracing ambiance. Big Star, first and foremost, is a bar, featuring a veritable who’s who of bourbons, whiskeys and tequilas. I’m not much of a drinker, but felt it right and proper to order something alcoholic. So I set my sights on a Sarsaparilla Springs, featuring Buffalo Trace bourbon and AJ Stephans root beer. To my tastes, it was a sharp and bitter swallow, but ultimately mellowed out. I’m a light-weight when it comes to drinking, so if you’re an imbiber, don’t let this deter you from checking out the place. For God’s sake, they’ve got $1 Schlitz beer! I mean, you can’t beat $1 beer, you just can’t. read the full review here: http://rocknrollghost.com/2010/01/28/restaurant-review-big-star-chicago
and an interview with Paul Kahan - http://rocknrollghost.com/2010/01/28/...
I visited Big Star opening week, and haven't made a return visit.
My impression during that first visit, at night, was that the room was not warm and inviting - it was dark and difficult to maneuver in and almost impossible to see what I was eating or drinking. Barren walls, dark lighting, cramped bar and those things are, to me, far from warm and inviting - it was unpleasant. I hope the place has improved the ambiance.
I thought the liquor service excellent, and moderately priced. As mentioned above, the $1 Schlitz is an unusual find.
I thought the tacos were good and economically priced for such a venue - definately better than food typically found at a trendy bar.
It's a bar I'd visit again, if in the neighborhood (which isn't very often).