The pandemic put them on pause, but pop culture pop-ups are back, Chicago. The latest debuts Wednesday in Lincoln Square inspired by the 1989 Disney film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids starring Rick Moranis; he reportedly signed on for a sequel in February. In anticipation for the potential revival, the Sixth will feature 14 signature drinks, whimsical food items — like a toy dump truck filled with corn dogs — all inspired by the children’s movie.
Pop-ups are polarizing, especially for folks of a different generation who never consumed the movie or TV show that’s being celebrated. But they can also be fun and profitable. August has already seen a carryout revival of the Saved by the Bell pop-up in Wicker Park, and Replay Lincoln Park unveiled a Bob’s Burgers theme for its arcade bar. Now the owners of the Sixth — part of the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group — are mining pop culture for more nostalgia (they hosted a Die Hard pop-up in December 2019). Honey, I Shrunk the Kids featured a scientist (Wayne Szalinski) who invented a machine that shrinks people. His family accidentally serves as test subjects and hijinks ensue as the miniaturized set of characters quest to return to their original sizes.
Health experts aren’t fans of indoor dining during the pandemic. That’s posed a problem for pop-ups which rely on fans excited to take selfies in front of props inside restaurants and bars. The Sixth will solve that by decorating its 10-seat sidewalk patio, as well as the interiors which can now hold 20 after COVID-19 capacity restrictions. Reservations will also be limited to 90-minute stays. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is about feeling tiny, so the Sixth will be filled with oversized props, like six-foot tall toy dinosaurs, to emulate the scale of the movie.
The Sixth hired Stella Miller, formerly of Michelin-starred Yugen in West Loop, as it new bar manager. Miller created 14 drinks — most of which will eventually be available to go. The team will use the Sixth’s special ice block machine to create custom ice cubes with movie-inspired artwork.
Those drinks include “Dad, Don’t Eat Me!” The cocktail — a spiced milk rum punch made with Plantation 3 Stars Rum, Honey Nut Cheerios house-infused cereal milk, and house toasted oat syrup — comes with a magnifying glass and caramelized Honey Nut Cheerios. As customers consume the drink, it will reveal an ice cube showing Moranis’ character’s children trapped in his cereal bowl, pleading with their father not to eat them. Another drink is the “Shrink Ray” made with hibiscus-infused vodka and Crème De Violette. This carbonated concoction includes edible glitter and sparkles like the movie’s shrink ray. The Sixth will also serve food inspired by the movie, like the aforementioned “I Could Eat A Corndog The Size Of A Truck!”
Check out the full menu below.
Honey, I Shrunk the Popup, at the Sixth, 2202 W. Lawrence Avenue, from Wednesday, August 26 to November 1; from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Friday; 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations via Resy, limited to 90 minutes.