Mas Salud, a new kitchen-and-bar restaurant, is opening Friday, April 28, at 720 Clark St., bringing Central and South American eats as well as specialty mezcals and tequilas to downtown Evanston.

The storefront of Mas Salud Kitchen and Bar, 720 Clark St. The restaurant opens April 28. Credit: Manan Bhavnani

“I want to have a little something for everyone,” owner Michael Melnick said of the bar. He had previously hoped for a fall 2022 opening.

The restaurant, which opens just in time for Cinco De Mayo, is right on the doorstep of the Northwestern University campus.

However, Melnick said he aims to attract customers from across the city to experience the bar’s food, drinks and the environment.

“Being a mezcal bar, there’s really not any of those right now. So, it’s kind of a niche market we’re trying to tap into,” he said.

Menu highlights include Mayan hummus, Mexican meatballs and Argentinian chicken, as well as a wine selection ranging from South America to Spain.

”You’re really going to get a taste of the world when you come here,” he said. 

The interior of the restaurant features bold artwork, bright colors, neon lights and murals scattered across three sections from a casual bar area to a wine section toward the rear.

“A lot of the color and design comes from being in tropical places. I wanted to create something that was fun to be in,” interior designer Jessica Rivera said.

Artwork from Chicago-based artist and muralist Reco The Great, welcomes patrons to the wine bar section at the restaurant with a neon sign that reads “It was all a dream.” Credit: Manan Bhavnani

Rivera, whose family is from Puerto Rico, drew inspiration from the places she visited growing up, including Umbrella Street in the capital city San Juan.

The interior of the restaurant features work from Chicago-based artist and muralist Ahmad James Lee, who goes by Reco The Great.

Melnick is also the co-owner of Salud Kitchen, which he opened in May 2021 at 5044 W. Montrose Ave. on Chicago’s North Side, a to-go version of the new restaurant.

Rivera also worked on the take-out spot with Melnick.

“We had some other plans but then COVID switched it all up. But this was really what our original idea was. I’m excited to see where this goes,” she said.

Prior to joining the RoundTable, Manan Bhavnani covered business and technology for the International Business Times, with a focus on mergers, earnings and governance. He is a double Medill graduate, with...

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