Slideshow: What To Eat at ¡Ay Chiwowa!, Open Now

The story behind ¡Ay Chiwowa! is well known and pretty funny— local scenetrepreneur Billy Dec saw a chance to buy Martini Ranch, a River North nightspot with a coveted 4 a.m. license, and did so— surprising his partner Arturo Gomez on Twitter. He must have gotten over it, though, since when the concept took a Mexican taco bar bent, Gomez recruited his own father from Mexico City to help devise the street food-inspired menu, which is prepared by the team under executive chef Julio Sanchez Galicia, another Mexico City native who worked his way up through the kitchen at Rockit Bar & Grill (he was one of the very first employees). So while it is, first and foremost, a bar with an extensive lists of tequilas and cocktails, it has a menu of easy-to-like Mexican classics done with an authentic yet contemporary approach— all to make the tequila-sippin’ easier. It opened on Friday; see a few menu items in our slideshow below, and see the menu here.

Queso Fundido chihuahua cheese, homemade corn tortillas.
Mango Guacamole & Chips avocado, pico de gallo, mango, corn tortilla chips.
Al Pastor Taco pork marinated with achiote seasoning, pickled onion, pineapple purée, cilantro.
Shrimp Ceviche shrimp, red onion, tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, lemon juice, avocado, saltine crackers.
Carnitas Torta refried beans, carnitas, peanut sauce, avocado, queso fresco, sour cream.
Slideshow: What To Eat at ¡Ay Chiwowa!, Open Now