It’s been a slow pedal for Tricycle, but the bar that’s replacing Silver Cloud Bar & Grill should finally reopen next week in Bucktown. The same ownership that’s behind Sheffield’s, the craft beer bar in Wrigleyville, plans to open their new bar on Thursday, August 16. Staff on Tuesday morning were feverishly taking furniture and beer deliveries while prepping the space for the public at 1700 N. Damen Avenue.
Owner Rivak “Rocky” Albazi feels refreshed. It’s been four years since he closed Silver Cloud. He entertained offers to sell the bar, but never pulled the trigger. While Silver Cloud was never in danger of winning a Michelin star, it became a neighborhood meeting space. The Bucktown and Wicker Park communities have missed it and are eagerly anticipating its replacement. Almost everything has been gutted. Customers will recognize the wooden bar as a holdover from Silver Cloud. That bar dates back to the 1920s from another Bucktown establishment, Albazi said. There’s also new leather booths, a restored tin ceiling, and new light fixtures.
It won’t be a carbon copy of Sheffield’s, which focuses on American-made craft beers and smoked meats. There are 12 draft lines and Sheffield’s GM/beer director Mark Tolliver said Tricycle will be split about 50-50 between American and foreign beers. Expect an infusion of Belgians, lambics, and goses. The Bucktown crowd’s different from Wrigleyville, and Tricycle will reflect that.
“My thing after a Cubs’ game is when someone asks ‘Give me a domestic, what do you have for domestics here?’” Tolliver said. “Everything on draft, pal.”
Tolliver promises to make beer nerds happy with events and rare beer releases. Albazi doesn’t want wine to be forgotten and he promised an affordable list with wines that aren’t easy to find. Tolliver is also working on a cocktail program. Tricycle won’t be a cocktail bar on par with the nearby Violet Hour, but expect a solid Old Fashioned. Tolliver’s also working on a house cocktail called “Happi Time.” The story behind the drink comes from an antique tricycle from the ‘50s he found last week in Sheffield’s basement. It’s rusted over, but Albazzi did some research and found it listed in an old Sears catalog with the name “Happi Time.” He’ll clean up the tricycle and put it on display. He doesn’t know how the trike ended up in the basement. Albazi took it as a sign as he’s had the idea for Tricycle for months: “How serendipitous is that?” he said.
There are several antique tricycles inside, but they’re not the only nod to nostalgia. There’s art inside from local artist Joe Pellegrini who created six pieces with old-school cartoons and comics. The Flintstones, the Jetsons, Popeye, and Iron Man are featured. There are also plans for mural outside from the same artist.
Visitors should expect the occasional musician to perform for additional ambience. It will also have DJs: “No, it won’t be ‘oontz oontz,” Tolliver said.
While some in the neighborhood are nostalgic for old Silver Cloud food items, Tricycle will debut a new menu with new recipes. There are throwback items, like a chicken pot pie, but it won’t be the same. New dishes include a shrimp cocktail, lamb shank, and lamb lollipops. There’s also a shaved Brussels sprout Caesar salad and plenty of vegan items.
Albazi, an architect, is happy with the public’s reaction to Silver Cloud’s replacement. He looks forward to finally reopening.
“The continuity is still there,” he said. “I don’t think you see much of that anymore. I think it’s important because everything now is here and then gone.”
Stay tuned for more coverage next week.