For One Neighborhood-Focused Restaurant Group, the Pop-Up Concept Gives Venues a Fighting Chance during the Pandemic. Here's Why.

It looks like the team behind The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group’s The Sixth cocktail lounge had a ball while planning for their latest pop-up bar concept. “Honey I Shrunk the Kids!,” the cult 1980s flick, has inspired Honey I Shrunk The Pop-Up at this Chicago-based watering hole in the Lincoln Square neighborhood.

From an eye-catching mural of Wayne Szalinski and family enticing customers to join the fun inside to oversized insects and props that look like they came straight out of the film to quirky cocktails like the “Szalinski Sazerec” and milk punch-inspired “Dad, Don’t Eat Me!” that comes with a magnifying glass, this concept demonstrates that the team didn’t mind working overtime.

But it’s not all fun and games, says Greg Mohr, co-founder of The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, adding that there was much strategy put into the pop-up bar with an aim of persuading guests to leave their homes and into this establishment. The venue accommodates only 20 inside and 10 on the patio in front of the mural; that’s to ensure good social distancing is practiced. There are also signs everywhere, pleading customers not to touch the displays. They are welcome to take photos, of course. And seating at the bar is scarce, and while there is some interaction with the bartender, it is at a minimum. Guests, of course, are expected to keep on their masks when they’re not eating and/or drinking.

“We want to give people an excuse to come in and see something different and interactive and fun, but we want them to feel safe while they do it,” says Mohr during a LIVE! Culinary Series episode. “We want customers to feel that when you dine [here], you don’t just come out, you have a good time and laugh.

“Our attitude to this whole thing is ‘let’s take it day by day, make the best of it and do everything we can to take care of our customers and make them happy, feel safe, and try to bring some good to the situation,’” Mohr continues.

The last day for Honey I Shrunk The Pop-Up is Nov. 1. As cooler weather settles in, look for Mohr and team to add more creative pop-up concepts to their establishments all over town.

Watch as Mohr gives me a virtual tour of the pop-up bar, and more, right here.