One of New York City’s most popular neighborhood bars is Chicago-bound this winter. Mother’s Ruin was initially slated to launch this fall in Avondale via a collaboration with Toby Maloney, head bartender and founding partner of the Violet Hour — one of Chicago’s most influential cocktail bars. Reps now confirm the casual drinks den is scheduled for a February debut.
The non-pretentious craft cocktail lounge — popular for spiked slushies and a sometimes rowdy ambiance — is replacing Los Dos Leones along Milwaukee Avenue, claiming 1,500 square feet with wiggle room for 65. An outdoor patio will seat 12 more and there’s 10 bar seats.
“The Chicago location is similar to Mother’s NYC when it originally opened,” said partner and chef Nick Pfannerstill. “There’s lots of exposed brick, original wooden floors, and an oversized mirror flanked by menu boards behind the back bar.” But Pfannerstill says that he and the bar’s original founders, TJ Lynch and Richard Knapp, were sold on the space at 2943 N. Milwaukee Avenue after seeing its “large picture windows that slide open to the street.”
In New York, Mother’s Ruin is known as somewhat of an upscale dive bar — catering to everyone from post-college graduates to investment bankers — serving better quality cocktails than the unfussy aesthetic may portend. Some come for happy hour, while others overindulge late into the night. But bringing on Maloney, who has been on the Violet Hour team since day one, will certainly up the bar’s drink factor further.
Right now, Maloney and team are working on a rotating drinks list that ranges from a Tecate beer dressed with lime juice, Cholula Hot Sauce, and salt; to more creative to-be-announced elixirs. Boozy slushies will change weekly and include flavors such as a blend of whiskey, peach, amaro, and honey; and gin, vermouth, peppermint, and cucumber.
Pfannerstill is overseeing the bar’s food menu, which will include the NYC location’s most popular dishes — including a spicy fried chicken sandwich with waffle fries, and charred eggplant dip with berbere spices and pickles — plus a few new Chicago-oriented additions. Think, Pfannerstill’s take on a pizza puff (a deep-fried dough pocket filled with traditional pizza topping ingredients).
Mother’s Ruin Chicago is the team’s third outlet. A Nashville location is set to open this month.
Mother’s Ruin, 2943 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Scheduled to open in February.