Brunch restaurant Hash opens in Wicker Park

  • Hash's front windows look out to Western Ave. along the border of Wicker Park and Humboldt Park.
Hash's front windows look out to Western Ave. along the border of Wicker… (Hash )
March 21, 2013|By Kate Bernot, @redeyeeatdrink | RedEye

Corned beef hash on a brunch menu probably doesn't raise any eyebrows. But how about a fried plantain, black bean and hominy hash? Or spicy chickpea, yogurt and kale hash?

These global twists on the starchy breakfast staple are the focus at the appropriately named Hash restaurant, which opened March 20 on Western Avenue near the border of Wicker Park and Humboldt Park.

"If I just did American hashes, it would really be quite boring," said owner Maggie McCoy, who  ran the now-closed Bagel on Damen. "I want it to be a place where people come weekly and try something else out. That’s how I eat. I am a typical Chicagoan; I eat Thai food, Polish food, Mexican food and the American favorites."

Beyond hashes, the 24-seat breakfast and lunch spot also serves bagels from New York Bagel & Bialy, plus sandwiches, soups and egg dishes with a few vegetarian options.

And what goes with breakfast food better thanGrateful Dead records?

"The decor is leaning towards a '70s vibe," McCoy said. "[Hash] is kind of pot reference, a little cheeky."

That's not to say the restaurant won't be family-friendly; McCoy is aware that their location near Clemente High School necessitates a bit of sensitivity.

Hash also doesn't a liquor license, but is "gloriously" BYOB, so cart in some sparkling wine for mimosas or your favorite breakfast stout.

While McCoy hopes Hash will be popular with neighbors, she's not a fan of the brunch-as-scene attitude.

"We're trying to stay away from as many of the super-minimalist, hipster sort of connotations that you see at fancy brunch spots," she said. "I don’t want the food to be that fussy. It's culinary comfort food."

kbernot@tribune.com  |  @redeyeeatdrink

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