For the inspiration of his 4th Chicago restaurant, industry vet Ryan O’Donnell of Ballyhoo Hospitality
didn’t have to go far. The idea for Old Pueblo was inspired by the 10 years he spent growing up in Tucson, Arizona, close to the border of Sonora, Mexico.
At this laidback cantina on a charming tree-lined street, the flour tortillas are made in-house, mesquite wood fuels the open-flame grill, guacamole is made to order, and the seasonal fruit-forward margaritas are available by the glass and the pitcher. With its warm service and inviting ambiance, Old Pueblo, like other Ballyhoo Hospitality restaurants Gemini and Coda di Volpe, strives to be everyone’s favorite neighborhood spot even if they don’t live around the corner.
OUR PARTNER GRAY MCNALLY
Although McNally was always interested in culinary arts, it wasn’t until after graduating with honors from St. Andrews University in Scotland with a master’s degree in Economics and International Relations that he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. Upon returning to his hometown of Chicago in 2002, Chef McNally graduated from Le Cordon Bleu’s Culinary Arts program before gaining experience at nationally recognized, award-winning restaurants including Spiaggia, BOKA, one sixtyblue and Ria at the former Elysian Hotel. After many years helming kitchens across Chicago, Gray discovered a new passion: farming.
In 2015 Gray and his wife, Jodi, founded Vintage Prairie Farm. The farm is operated by the principles of biodiversity, ecological balance, compost fertilization, all-natural pest control, sustainability, and healthy soil life, and the farm’s commitment to these principles has led it to partnering with some of Chicago’s finest restaurants – including Ballyhoo Hospitality.
McNally is currently a partner in Old Pueblo Cantina and an investor in Andros Taverna. McNally was the opening Chef and Partner of the Tortoise Club and was part of the opening culinary team at the Elysian Hotel and the 2 Michelin star Ria restaurant. Early in his career, Gray also served as Sous Chef at the Michelin-starred Boka.
About Ballyhoo Hospitality
Founded in 2018 after a combined 35 years in the business by husband-and-wife partners Ryan and Anna O’Donnell, Ballyhoo Hospitality champions the qualities that make a neighborhood restaurant great. The heartfelt greeting when you walk in the door, service that makes you feel cared for and a warm ambiance that encourages you to relax. Ballyhoo restaurants offer thoughtful, inspired food and drinks that satisfy in memorable ways again and again, no matter which restaurant or cuisine you're enjoying. Located in Chicago's finest neighborhoods and the suburban North Shore, Ballyhoo restaurants offer a little something for everyone. Open daily, join us for American-inspired cuisine at Gemini, Neapolitan pizzas at Coda di Volpe, authentic Sonoran Mexican at Old Pueblo Cantina, a perfectly prepared steak at Sophia, sophisticated Mediterranean at Andros Taverna or authentic French fare at Pomeroy. We don’t have customers at Ballyhoo Hospitality restaurants, we have guests.