Due to reopen in late February or early March as Scofflaw—named for the term coined in a 1923 contest held by the Boston Herald for flouters of Prohibition law—it will be a gin-focused cocktail bar, with small plates and American craft beers on tap, nothing exceeding $8. Shapiro vows that it will be "unpretentious," with different types of ice, in-house ingredients, and "no unsolicited lectures."
Habitues of the Whistler will recognize Shapiro as the affable wiseacre who backed up Paul McGee beginning in November 2010. Before that he worked at pre-Virant Perennial, at the time the youngest bartender in the BOKA Restaurant Group.
McGee, whose last night at the Whistler is Wednesday, vouches for him. "I have nothing but positive things to say about him far as his knowledge and passion for learning," says McGee. "He loves cocktails and he loves spirits and when he sets his mind to something he's all over it."
The partners are vetting chefs right now, but Shapiro passed along the tentative cocktail list:
Saint Charles: Jasmine tea-infused Death's Door Gin, Rothman & Winter apricot liqueur, Peychaud's bitters, absinthe rinse (Sazerac riff)
Basil Bramble: Broker's Gin, lemon, Briottet Crème de Mure, basil (Bramble riff, nod to Whistler's Rosemary Collins)
Bourbon: Old Fitzgerald Bonded Bourbon, Bénédictine, Marie Brizard orange Curaçao, lemon, Angostura bitters (from David A. Embury, 1948)
Lonesome Hero: Olmeca Altos Reposado, aperol, guava, lime
Budsap Gamble: Hayman's Old Tom Gin, lime, maple syrup, Cynar, maraschino, cucumber ice
Red Tide: Flor de Caña four-year-old gold rum, lime, pomegranate syrup (nod to Beachbum Berry)
Bingo Fizz: rye, Meletti Amaro, lemon, orgeat, coconut soda
Newer Newark: Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy, sweet vermouth, yellow chartreuse, Fernet Branca, root beer bitters
Scofflaw, 3201 W. Armitage (no number yet)