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Scofflaw Team Hopes to Keep Spirit of Bonny's Alive at Slippery Slope

By Victoria Johnson | January 12, 2014 8:50am
 Slippery Slope neon sign lit up at 2357 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Slippery Slope neon sign lit up at 2357 N. Milwaukee Ave.
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Slippery Slope

LOGAN SQUARE — After teasing since last spring about a new bar project, the folks behind Scofflaw are finally spilling the beans — both literally and figuratively — about their new bar project.

That's because one of the main attractions of Slippery Slope, opening soon at 2357 N. Milwaukee Ave., will be beef Tom Tom Tamales submerged in a cupful of chili, a variation on the homegrown Chicago dish the mother-in-law.

"It's just kind of fun and whimsical, and it's a classic Chicago treat," said one of the owners, Danny Shapiro.

If Slippery Slope sounds a bit more lowbrow than Scofflaw, that's because it is. With three skeeball machines, dancing and chili-submerged tamales, the feel will be altogether different from the higher-end cocktails and food of Scofflaw.

Shapiro said he and his partners wanted to bring back some of the magic of their first bar, Bonny's, the 4 a.m. dance bar they ran a bit further north Milwaukee Avenue. Bonny's closed in the fall of 2012 because of ongoing legal disputes with their landlord.

"As soon as Bonny's was forced to close, we wanted to make sure we wanted to make sure that spirit alive," he said.

If they can't re-bottle that lightning at the Slippery Slope though, at least they'll be bottling something else — cocktails.

Slippery Slope will offer pre-made cocktails in the bottles "for your dancing convenience," Shapiro said.

"One of the things that gets critiqued more and more as frankly people get more and more impatient is long waits for cocktails," he said. "I was really, really averse to selling them on tap, so what we did is bottle cocktails sort of a handful at a time ... So the bartender will hand you a bottle you can slide a straw in through the top or you can drink it out of the bottle."

There will be a rotation of three or four cocktails of the "fun, sort of divey" sort, meaning every night will have some variation on a Long Island Ice Tea or a wine cooler-type drink, Shapiro said.

They won't reuse the same bottles, but Shapiro emphasized that they will be recycled.

Shapiro said they're just about ready to open Slippery Slope's first floor by spring, but that it will be several more months before the second floor that will be a "more lounge-y" area for those who don't want to dance or just need a break.

All told, the whole bar will be about 6,000 square feet.

As for the name, Slippery Slope, Shapiro said it is not an allusion to the slick surface of the skeeball machines.

"[It's] just a name we all liked; one that represents dancing, drinking and the process of going out, no matter what your aim," he said.