El Atoradero in Prospect Heights has opened their adjacent mezcal bar Madre Mezcaleria, pouring 75 different mezcals—a number owner Noah Arenstein hopes to grow to 125 once things are in full swing.

"We're gonna do a lot of flights, a lot of one ounce pours that you can basically have something in a smaller pour just to try it," Arenstein says of their plans for introducing patrons to new types of mezcal. The education also expands to the spirits menu, where he and the team have created some alternative tasting notes to describe the mezcals.

"We wanted to make the tasting notes more fun, make it more approachable," Arenstein explains of the notes that offer flavors like burnt marshmallow, fruit snacks, whipped cream and smoked lamb fat. "I wanted it to be different from boring tasting notes that you read."

Besides the agave spirits and cocktails, look for an expanded menu of the biodynamic wines they're offering next door—with an emphasis on white wines—plus all-Mexican beers, including a Gose style with salty notes to pair well with things like oysters.

El Atoradero's life-changing nachos won't be on the menu at the bar, but there will be some smaller snacks like ceviches, chips and guacamole and raw bar items. "The food is meant to support the cocktails, support the mezcal," Arenstein says. "If you wanna eat, we want you to eat at the restaurant."

Arenstein describes the decor as "1920s Mexican art deco," with Talavera tiles and custom-made prints by El Jolgorio, a mezcal brand that has beautiful graphic labels. Once favorable temps return, the bar will have a backyard space that's attached to El Atoradero's—but mingling won't be allowed between the two entities unless it's being rented for an event.

706 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights