Moments away from opening day: Yency (left) and Estefany Garcia are the masterminds behind Crepas Culichi in Oak Park. | Melissa Elsmo

For months, paper covered windows at 1101 Lake St. cultivated curiosity surrounding the impending arrival of Crepas Culichi. When sisters and co-owners, Yency and Estefany Garcia, pulled the paper down to reveal the glittering interior, interest in the downtown Oak Park newcomer exploded. The sisters have grown used to people peering in the windows, taking pictures and popping in to say how excited they are for the French-Mexican eatery to open. 

The restaurant, decked out in vintage furniture, boasts numerous chandeliers, a generous china cabinet, delicate floral dishware, and a dedicated photo area. A long cocktail bar beckons guests to settle in for a drink, gold champagne buckets sit next to every table and mint-hued napkins tie the sparkly aesthetic together.

The space, capable of stopping passersby in their tracks, is a light and airy reflection of the sisters’ personal style — they hand selected and placed every piece of furniture in the space giving new life to generational pieces that had special meaning to their former owners.  The hodgepodge of salvaged pieces comes together in a bright symphony of femininity that feels refreshingly young and sets the tone for the one-of-a kind experience the Garcia sisters hope to bring to Oak Park.

Video courtesy of 919 Productions.

“A lot of customers at our Berwyn location are from Oak Park and we wanted to expand,” said Yency Garcia who credits the new location to hard work, dedication and faith. “I feel like we manifested this.”

Crepas Culichi Oak Park represents an evolution of the sisters’ Berwyn location, 2713 Ridgeland Ave.  When they opened their first restaurant in April 2019, the duo, who are also in business with their mother, Yency De la Torre, took inspiration from coffee shops and crepe stands located in Mexico. The Berwyn location has the same “fancy touch” and serves crepes, coffee and shakes, but the Oak Park location, with seating for 80, will include a robust cocktail program, dedicated brunch menu and specialized dinner offerings featuring sweet and savory crepes and other French-Mexican dishes.

Quick bit of history — French fare took root in Mexico’s culinary history when the French invaded the country in the mid 1800’s. Mexico eventually rid itself of its hostile French visitors but held onto the cooking techniques.  As a result, crepes are a vibrant and authentic part of Mexican cuisine to this day. 

A mezcal and fig martini as it will be served at Crepas Culichi in Oak Park. | Provided

Diners should expect hand-milled flours to form the base for an array of crepes served at Crepas Culichi. Special flavorings are added to the flour that result in colorful batters. Rosy-hued sweet strawberry crepes, filled with indulgent chocolate mousse and house made jam, are garnished with fresh raspberries, strawberry, granola, Nutella and strawberry ice cream. Folks looking for a savory option will discover poblano crepes filled with chicken, peppers, corn and cheese.

Mixologist and co-owner, Francisco Lozano, is bringing an edgy and mature cocktail program to life at Crepas Culichi — his offerings aspire to be as elaborate as the environment in which they’re served. The masculine, Monsieur, is Lozano’s interpretation of a smoked Old Fashioned made with Rebel bourbon and house-made spiced brown sugar syrup with notes of vanilla and star anise. A signature martini, made with smoky mezcal, will feature fig marmalade and fresh fig garnish. In addition to utilizing color changing ingredients like butterfly pea tea powder in drinks, cocktail lovers should anticipate garnishes including edible glitter and photo-worthy “cocktail bubbles” to make a for a memorable experience. A trio of mimosas and a chipotle bloody mary are planned to satisfy brunch goers. Children and the young at heart will appreciate Crepas Culichi’s elaborately decorated milkshakes — think glitter-garnished churro or whipped-cream topped red velvet cake shakes.

A chipotle bloody mary is a planned brunch offering at Crepas Culichi in Oak Park. | Provided

Dinner menu items will include crepe options as well as an assortment of meats, seafood and salads including filet mignon with guajillo sauce. Lozano reports that a young staff of nearly 20 is in “full training mode” and ready to bring the space to life on opening day.

The owners are critically aware of how eager people are to experience all that Crepas Culichi promises to be and they are keeping their focus on customer service. After a private soft-opening period, the family-friendly restaurant will operate on a reservation-only basis to prevent their staff from being overwhelmed and ensure customers have a positive experience.

“We want people who visit Crepas Culichi to feel appreciated and well taken care of,” said Yency.

“We want to remain unique and stay true to what we do, but make sure people feel like they are cozy at home when they are here,” chimed in Estefany.

“We’re so excited because I really don’t think people know how amazing it is going to be,” said Yency.

Crepas Culichi is just one village inspection away from opening — the final inspection is scheduled for Jan. 4. The Garcia sisters suggest keeping an eye on Crepas Culichi’s windows for instructions on when and how to make a reservation for your first sparkly meal in Oak Park.

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