You can always make time for tequila and tacos. Especially when they’re coming from another collaboration between Four Corners (Benchmark, Kirkwood, Fremont) and Hogsalt (Au Cheval, Gilt Bar, Bavette’s, Doughnut Vault).
Federales (180 N Morgan St), the new Tex-Mex bar and restaurant, is the second venture between the two powerhouse restaurant groups. Opening on Monday, June 6, it’ll serve as a casual neighborhood hangout, something that Fulton Market is missing. Federales feels like a garage-turned-badass-playground with playful art, shot glasses made of ice and even a San Francisco trolley to shuttle guests to and from local events.
The menu features slow-smoked meat tacos like crispy pork belly al pastor, carne asada and shredded beef brisket available as a platter of four or a la carte. The bar will be serving up shaken or frozen classic mescal and hibiscus margaritas along with a full list of Mexican beers, including Tecate with a salt and hot sauce–lined rim.
One of the most notable things about Federales is not on the menu, though—it’s on the back wall. A sprawling black and white mural created by Jason Botkin of the artists’ group EN MASSE twists its’ way along the back of the bar. Staring at the trippy mural, you’ll find droopy-eyed pigs holding giant saltshakers, an astronaut driven by drunk robots in his helmet, frogs jumping into black holes and agave plants chasing tacos. You’ll also spot subtle Chicago references in between the characters.
The 176-seat open air space, designed by Karen Herold of Studio K, is embellished with industrial details such as pegboard walls, dark reclaimed barn wood and shelving made from square steel posts hung over the bar. The building exterior is wrapped in sheets of cutout corten steel, which will naturally weather from dark metallic to a burnt, rusty orange.
Inside quickly becomes outside with a retractable roof and two massive garage-style fold-up windows. The hanging TVs can swivel to face the bar or the 154-seat tequila garden in front. Mismatched seating, tables of two and long communal tables make the patio a more socially focused space.
Four Corners director Ryan Indovina hopes Federales will become the kind of place patrons can easily spend a day hanging out. And, well, it won’t be hard to turn afternoons into nights with the fire pit plus tequila, tacos and twinkly lights.