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Andersonville’s Bar Roma To Open Soon, Don’t Expect Another Cantina 1910

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Photo: Veal Meatballs, Bar Roma FB

Bar Roma, the new storefront at 5101 N. Clark (the old Tapas Las Ramblas space), is nearing its completion and could open as soon as Saturday. The space will become an Italian restaurant that will feature Roman-inspired dishes with a focus on ‘global’ meatballs.

Bar Roma owner, Julia Zhu, is a retired commercial banker and was once a partner at Oysy Sushi. Zhu’s other half, restaurateur Howard Davis, helped her with the new project. The head chef will be Fred Ramos whose skills also graced Angelina Ristorante and Gioco. The wine selection was put together by sommelier Bob Bansberg.

The new restaurant is hoping to stand out from the crowd with their gourmet meatballs. Each order will contain three meatballs, and they are promising that each dish won’t be skimpy in size and will be affordably priced.

In a Chicago Eater story put out yesterday, they stated the importance of creating ample-sized portions while maintaining reasonable prices for neighborhood restaurants. With that, they pointed out the failure of local restaurant Cantina 1910, which was located just one block south of Bar Roma.

Zhu said in the article, “Cantina 1910 was too high-end and River North, and I said definitely that’s not the direction we wanted to go. When they closed down I wasn’t surprised.”

Once Bar Roma opens, Expect to find an assortment of different types of meatballs that including veal-sweetbread meatballs, chicken meatballs topped with fried eggs, Shanghai-style meatballs and Swedish meatballs. The menu will also include seafood and house-made pastas.

Bar Roma can seat about 60 and will serve dinner until 1 a.m.


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