“Our work definitely comes from a place of honest enthusiasm. It’s what we do for a living. ”
Matty Eggleston, Co-Owner/Managing Partner of Spilt Milk Tavern
Matty Eggleston is a big fan of an underrated word in the world of business and barrooms: “we.” The trio that makes up Equal Parts Hospitality, LLC is Matty, Tony Selna, and Jason Turley. Each comes from a background in service, and have worked with one another off and on for years leading up to Spilt Milk Tavern’s opening in late 2016.
“It was just nice for us to find a way to have a place of our own, a place to hang our hats,” says Matty.
A partnership helmed by Jason Freiman of Footman Hospitality eased the technical aspects in getting Spilt Milk Tavern up and running. Once a derelict space at the corner of California and Fullerton, renovation efforts of Beyer Built created what is now a beautifully restored version of what it once was, a classic Chicago corner bar. Inside, a rich, textured, yet comfortable aesthetic imbues the space due to the vision of Alice Hanson and the design work of Boone Interiors. A vast bar stretches across the room, and the back bar is full of beautiful bottles of everything known and unknown.
“We’re definitely a dark kind of getaway bar,” says Matty. “The service is genuine, warm, and friendly. We lucked out in that arena because we have a team that is able to do that. It’s a small staff, but it’s the most important part.”
Chicago corner bars are places folks can become enveloped in. Places a person can get their usual, or feel relaxed enough to try something new. A place to meet a friend and share a tab. Spilt Milk Tavern’s menu is one tailored to its audience, and popular demand has dictated a menu of accessible, well-crafted cocktails (including the “Frozen Coffee” cocktail featuring Hellion Cold Brew alongside delicious boozy elements). A unique selection of local and national beers plus a wine menu that is well-curated and inviting supplement this diverse and balanced menu. But like any project among passionate individuals, plenty of fine-tuning occurs along the way.
“It’s cool for all of us to be jumping in and tinkering with it, tuning it up and making plans for it. Looking at it from the bigger picture is kind of fun. You constantly have to focus in real tight and ask what works,” says Matty.
In the spirit of the bigger picture, Spilt Milk is working to expand its perimeter to include a patio (up and running by mid-August 2017), and in the more distant future, a full kitchen for food service.
In the cases of Spilt Milk Tavern and Metric Coffee, the overwhelming perspective seems to be that people matter. Customers, partners, friends and peers. The human element, the beautiful and ultimate “we,” is what truly breathes life into a space, and what makes a venture worth pursuing.