The shtick: Logan Square’s beloved gin bar serves its early(ish) rising fans no-nonsense daytime sustenance.
The vibe: It’s likely you’ve never seen Scofflaw in the light of day (and if you’re like us, you’ve never seen it while sober). For weekend brunch, the dark, sexy cocktail mecca—the finest bar in the city—enters ultra-relaxed mode, and is a nice place to lounge. Gone are the crowds; instead, you’ll likely stroll right in and sit right down. The strip-mall and Armitage Avenue vistas from the patio leave plenty to be desired, but hey, it’s outdoors. 8 out of 10
The drinks: There are a couple brunchy drinks on offer, but the full menu is also available and we couldn’t pass up the Ruby Vroom. The stiff cocktail combines tequila, Campari, strawberry, lime, and—the key element—cucumber ice. It was a bit harsh on the first few tastes, but once that ice cube melted and imparted its mellow flavor, it was smooth sipping. 8 out of 10
The food: In theory, the tidy, six-item menu helps simplify decision-making. But the problem is that there doesn’t appear to be a dud on the list. An easy solution (and rule to live by): When in doubt, just say “burger.” Scofflaw’s offering ($12, plus $2 for bacon or egg) is right on-trend with the skinny patty craze. The meat is cooked with mustard and is satisfying, but also forgettable. (There’s some stiff competition out there!) The rest of the package is pretty standard too, with LTO, pickles, pickled onions, American cheese, and Russian dressing. It’ll likely leave you covered in its juices and thinking, “Well, there was nothing wrong with that burger.”
The more memorable of our two choices was a stack of pancakes—four in total, with alternating layers of plain buttermilk and roasted beet-infused buttermilk. Top it off with spreadable, whipped goat cheese disguised as a heap of butter, maple syrup, and powdered sugar, and you’ve got an irresistible treat that totally blurs the sweet/savory line. 7 out of 10
The service: If you require prompt coffee refills, eloquent descriptions of the dishes being placed in front of you, and frequent check-ins from your server, brunching here may put your undies in a bundle. You’ll get more polished service elsewhere, but if you’re here to linger over cocktails (as everyone seemed to be during our visit), you probably don’t mind flagging down your friendly server when your mug is empty. 6 out of 10
Overall: Just like at night, Scofflaw outdoes itself with stellar cocktails and food that’s far more refined and tasty than it needs to be. No one’s complaining. 7 out of 10