The roughest, toughest, cartoon sailor bar to hit the small screen is coming to Lincoln Park’s Replay tomorrow as part of a SpongeBob SquarePants pop-up that runs through July 15. Management is transforming the arcade bar at 2833 N. Sheffield Avenue into the Salty Spitoon, a tough-fish-only restaurant and bar in the underwater wonderland of Bikini Bottom where, at least on the show, there are “no weenies allowed.”
Inside the restaurant, fans of the titular yellow sponge and his pals can expect various locations from the program, including a two-story pineapple under the sea, Mrs. Puff’s Boating School, burger spot the Krusty Krab, and Squidward’s Easter Island Head, according to a news release. The space will feature installations from local artists and plenty of photo opportunities for the Instagram-inclined. It’s from Replay’s “Pop-Up Squad,” a group of artists who set the scene for the bar’s other events including a Fyre Festival-themed pop up in April.
“Krabby Patty” burgers will be available for diners, as well as a special cocktail menu that includes SpongeBob-themed drinks like “Kelp Juice,” “Jellyfish Jam” shots, “Sandy’s Helmet,” served in a fish bowl, and the “Chum Bucket,” which is, of course, presented in a bucket. Ownership is scattering events throughout the pop up, including a “Bubble Bowl” halftime show concert, a “how tough are ya’ contest,” weekly late-night “jellyfish raves,” karaoke, and “jellyfish hunting,” Block Club Chicago first reported.
Replay is the most prolific of the many Chicago bars that churn out events with a heavy dose of nostalgia, including Sable Kitchen & Bar’s 90s MTV spring break pop up in March. The team behind the Los Angeles Saved By the Bell diner that began in Chicago recently opened a Good Burger pop up, inspired by the 1997 comedy starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell.
SpongeBob Squarepants, the highest rated series ever to appear on Nickelodeon, premiered in 1999. Scientists named a newly described species of fungus “Spongiforma squarepantsii” in tribute to the show in 2011.