Al Fresco Mexican in River Forest? Si!

Owners of Oak Park's La Majada restaurant will be among first to utilize relaxed liquor laws in River Forest.

Right in time for the summer outdoor dining season, a new restaurant with local ties plans to open a scaled-back version featuring al fresco seating.

, a favorite in the Oak Park Arts District, has plans to take over the space at Annie's II and open an "express" version, Wednesday Journal reports. The space Lake Street and Lathrop Avenue was taken over last summer after the departure of original Annie's owners Simon and Agnus Chung, but failed to find an audience.


"La Majada Express" will take advantage of new rules in River Forest that relax some village liquor laws, specifically ones laws that decrease square footage and seating requirements for restaurants looking to serve alcohol.

Restaurant owner Jesse Haggar told Patch the restaurant will feature Mexican smoked ribs served with a variety of sauces, Mexican pizza with fresh vegetables and chicken, steak or chorizo, grilled shrimp dishes and "of course tacos and burritos but with a little different twist."

While the "La Majada Express" will have indoor seating, the real draw will be an outdoor patio. But Haggar said he won't simply erect some tables and umbrellas in the parking lot. He has plans to construct some sort of "comfortable" outdoor shack.

Some insurance and leasing paperwork needs to be finalized, and the restaurant should be open by the first week in June.

"I wish I could open yesterday," Haggar said adding that we wanted to credit village officials in River Forest for their "business friendliness."

The River Forest Village Board also recently OK'd license class for BYOB, or bring your own beverage, along with a series of other tweaks to existing liquor laws.


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