Empire Building

Where in the Restaurant World is Geno Bahena?

The man loves restaurants!
The man loves restaurants! Photo: chefgenobahena.com

Word has broken that Geno Bahena is planning to open a restaurant. Another one. This on top of the opening just three months ago of Los Moles, or the ongoing buzz around his consulting chef gig at Real Tenochtitlan. It’s common knowledge that the Frontera-trained Bahena has a habit for opening restaurants rapid-fire, but just how many pies does the man have his finger in? Here, for your reference, a spot-check of his culinary adventures:

An unnamed carnes al carbon restaurant (likely to be named either Tlaxcalli or Teoxintle)
Neighborhood: Old Irving Park, at 3336 N. Milwaukee Ave
Opening: Unknown.
Current Status: The lease isn’t even signed yet.

Neighborhood: Humbold Park
Opened: Not yet. Bahena announced his plans in January, but there hasn’t been any action.
Current status: Unknown.

Los Moles
Neighborhood: Lakeview
Bahena’s Title: Executive Chef
Opened: May 3, 2009
Current Status: Alive and well.

Real Tenochtitlan
Neighborhood: West Loop
Bahena’s Title: Consulting Chef
Opened: August 2008
Current Status: Bahena opened the restaurant as a consultant but is no longer affiliated with it; chef Jorge Manzano now helms the kitchen.

Delicioso y Sabroso
Neighborhood: Far Southeast Chicago
Bahena’s Title: “Corporate Executive Chef Mentor”
Opened: June 2007
Current Status: The two-restaurants-in-one concept near the Indiana casinos closed quietly in mid-2008.

Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Bahena’s Title: Executive Chef
Opened: April 2007
Current Status: Bahena left barely three months in; the restaurant remains open with “no chef, just a cook.”

Neighborhood: Lynwood, California
Opened: Summer 2006
Closed: Early 2007

Neighborhood: Tri-Taylor
Bahena’s Title: Executive Chef
Opened: Scheduled for a late 2002 opening in a converted church, it never actually made it out of the gate.
Current Status: Remains never-opened.

Neighborhood: River North
Bahena’s Title: Executive Chef
Opened: 2002
Current status: Closed in February 2006

Neighborhood: Logan Square
Bahena’s Title: Executive Chef
Opened: 2000
Current Status: Moved to a new address in March 2005 under the new name La Bonita; now closed

The Final Tally: Eleven restaurants. Four still open, four opened and closed, one never opened, two still twinkles in Bahena’s eye. Did we miss anything?

Where in the Restaurant World is Geno Bahena?