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The Moonlighter, from the Scofflaw Team, Is Like a Backyard Barbecue in Bar Form

After saying farewell to Sink|Swim, they’re setting up shop across the street in September.

(From left) Danny Shapiro, Kris Nagy, Stephen Meinster, Mickey Neely, and Andy Gould   Photo: Courtesy of Scofflaw

For the Scofflaw Group, when one door (temporarily) closes on Armitage Avenue, another prepares to open: Shortly after pulling the plug on Sink|Swim (which closed in July for reconcepting), the crew behind Scofflaw, Slippery Slope, and Heavy Feather is putting the final touches on its newest venture, the Moonlighter (3204 W. Armitage Ave., Logan Square).

Danny Shapiro, Andy Gould, and Kristofer Nagy first teamed up to open Scofflaw in 2012. With it, they brought the booze-loving masses to a formerly quiet stretch of Armitage Avenue. The Moonlighter will take up residence right across the street from its cocktail-icon sibling this fall, catering to a different crowd.

For starters, it’ll be the group’s most casual spot. “For some places, you have to get dressed up,” Shapiro says. Not so at the Moonlighter: “Just walk in and have a good time. It’s like going to your friend’s house for a barbecue.”

A driving factor behind that affability will be the dog- and tot-friendly outdoor space. A 2,000-square-foot area will seat 100 and—with the aid of fireplaces—remain open well into the coming months.

Beer will star on the drink menu, marking another departure for the group. Nagy’s selections will feature 20 drafts and go heavy on the sours.

That’s not to say cocktails are an afterthought. “We love cocktails and this place will represent that love,” Shapiro says. His offerings skew more refreshing than boozy (think shaken versus stirred). Cocktail-wise, “Scofflaw is at the more challenging end of the spectrum,” Shapiro says, while the Moonlighter, he notes, will keep things lighter. Also look for rosé on draft, plus “a handful of other wines that are in line with being fun, refreshing, and interesting.”

Food-wise, Mickey Neely (Scofflaw’s opening chef) rejoins the group after stints at Dusek’s and the Promontory, and has plans for a roster of familiar crowd pleasers. “[The food will] stay in line with that all-American barbecue fun,” says Shapiro, who rattles off wings, burgers, nachos, and loaded french fries as some staples you’ll find on the opening menu. So while it’s almost Labor Day, don’t go closing any doors on 2017’s al fresco drinking season.

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