Much of the buzz has centered on Shapiro, who had never so much as wiped down a bar top when he moved to Chicago as a hopeful comedy writer in July 2009.
It took him a year to finish Second City's writing program, by which point he had snagged a barback job at pre-Perennial Virant — "I may have told them that I had previous experience, but that was certainly not the case," he said — and became enamored of the business.
By summer 2010, Shapiro had learned enough to head Perennial's cocktail program; that fall, he moved to Logan Square bar The Whistler to work with Paul McGee, one of Chicago's most well-regarded bartenders.
Now 27, Shapiro has since been dubbed one of Zagat's "Chicago's 30 Under 30" and earned mentions in Bon Appetit's blog and (along with Gould) The New York Times. Do Shapiro's partners mind that he seems to get most of the media attention? Nah. "I'm just not very good at stuff like that, and he's great at it," Tandy said.
And anyway, with four personalities in play, it's best to keep egos as much out of the equation as possible. That's not a problem, they say.
"We're all pretty self-aware and patient," Shapiro said. "And we're very complementary; there's just the right amount of overlap. Everyone carries their weight in a different way."
He, of course, oversees the cocktails; 33-year-old Nagy handles the craft-beer program; 32-year-old Tandy deals with payroll and scheduling; and Gould is the maintenance and general-operations guru.
Now their new project will be keeping Scofflaw's owners even busier. Among the few specifics they'll reveal: The new place, a dance bar at 2357 N. Milwaukee, will be a replacement of sorts for Logan Square's previous late-night dance spot, Bonny's.
The focus will be on shots and beer. As for decor, it will be what Nagy calls "a little dive-y and seedy by design."
In the meantime, Scofflaw will continue to court gin hounds and gin skeptics alike. Its owners sometimes suggest the latter try a cocktail made with the bar's proprietary gin: "It converts people who don't realize that they're gin drinkers," Gould says.
Scofflaw by the numbers:
Kinds of gin Scofflaw offers
Average age of the owners
Dollars for a cocktail
Number of owners