At times in her life, Tulah had to sip her wine from a coffee cup, in case the badge came. But at home, Enoch Shully remembers his mother abrogation the canteen out in the attainable on the kitchen table.
That’s breadth it was aback Shully, who owns and operates the West Loop’s Bin 36, aboriginal tasted wine.
Recently, Shully recalled that one night as a boy, afterwards his parents went to bed, he sneaked bottomward to the kitchen for a late-night bite and saw the wine. At 7 years old, he knew it alone as his mother Tulah’s drink. He drank bisected the bottle.
“I anticipation it was the best abominable affair ever,” he said while sitting on a bar stool of Bin 36, which he has endemic aback 2014.
The morning afterwards his midnight guzzle, Shully woke with diarrhea and was aerated to the emergency allowance in Bangui, the Central African Republic basic breadth they lived. Tulah anticipation he had aliment poisoning, but instead, it was the wine.
“My mom, she said to me, ‘The alone way to get over this is by aggravating it again,’” Shully recalled.
After all, she capital to allotment with him article she loved.
Tulah started with a rosé, “so absinthian and earthy.” Afresh reds and whites — aloof a aftertaste actuality and there at dinnertime.
Shully’s accent is brindled with things Tulah said to him, in accidental conversations or aback he accustomed home accomplished curfew: “Hold a wine canteen like you would authority a woman.” “You are fabricated up of good.” “Words are like bullets — you can’t booty them aback already they’re gone.” “Once you alpha something, don’t stop until it’s done.”
And try, she told him, to accomplish addition smile.
“If you look,” he said, motioning to airy diners appropriation wine glasses abreast the bar, “everybody’s smiling. Somebody’s laughing.”
John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune
Enoch Shully, buyer of Bin 36, at his West Loop wine bar and restaurant.
Enoch Shully, buyer of Bin 36, at his West Loop wine bar and restaurant. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
Shully, who confused to Cape Town to abstraction electrical engineering, got his alpha in the restaurant business there, aback he opened a coffee boutique in college. Then, he was assassin at Arnold’s restaurant as a toast-maker, alone tasked with crafting the aliment that accompanied about every bowl at the alive breakfast restaurant.
Again, his mother’s admonition echoed: “Whatever you do, apple-pie toilets, apple-pie the streets, whatever you do, be the best you can.”
Perfecting acknowledgment led to promotions — as server, afresh managing servers, afresh managing the restaurant. Afterwards a assignment alive for Red Bull, Shully alternate to Cape Town to acquisition he absent alive with wine. He’d visited vineyards in Europe, watched restaurateurs collaborate with winemakers. Shully acquainted adrift, but wine absorbed him. “My activity was a little chaotic, and I knew I had to go aback to the basics of confined wine, which I loved,” Shully said.
“Wine brings accord breadth there’s chaos,” Tulah would say.
She itched to travel, and by aggravating wines, she could apprentice about altered regions. Aback Shully advised in altered countries, she would visit.
Apartheid didn’t end in South Africa and Cape Town until 1991, and blacks were belted from affairs wine. Aback Tulah would visit, she buried her wine in coffee cups. Men brought deliveries to the aperture in grease-smeared cardboard accoutrements evoking absurd chicken.
“There was no chicken,” Shully recalls. “It was wine.”
None of this escapes him now, in the glassy and avant-garde restaurant he runs, breadth a assorted audience drinks freely.
“There’s so abounding times I accessory about and think, ‘This would accept concluded in a altered way for me,’” he said.
John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune
Enoch Shully leads approved wine tasting classes in Bin 36’s accident space.
Enoch Shully leads approved wine tasting classes in Bin 36’s accident space. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)
But what brought Enoch to Bin 36? While alive in Cape Town, Enoch met a acquaintance called Jenny, an American therapist active in the city. They affiliated in 2010, but Jenny absent her ancestors in the Chicago area, so in 2012, they boarded a even to O’Hare International Airport.
Soon afterwards arriving, he meandered about downtown. One day, he absolved into Bin 36.
Former buyer Dan Sachs remembers Shully’s activity and enthusiasm, admitting his accession “from a absolutely altered cultural environment.” Shully didn’t apperceive abundant about American ability — he was befuddled by seeing bodies alcohol out of four glasses at once, or “flights.” He looked to YouTube to accept how Midwesterners acted and ate.
Still, Sachs anon accustomed his affection for wine.
“Obviously, for Bin 36, that was critical,” Sachs said.
When Sachs absitively to abutting the longtime amplitude in Marina City, he and Shully discussed the closing demography it over. Shully heard his mother: “When you alpha something, don’t stop unless it’s done.”
“I said, ‘I accept amateurish business here,’” he said.
After the restaurant afflicted easily afterward the 2014 closing, Shully afresh encountered a acquirements curve. He knew annihilation about tax codes, restaurant renovations, starting over. How abounding bodies should he appoint for the cafeteria shift? How abundant apparatus would he need? YouTube, which had provided advice on American community and Chicago culture, afresh served as a tutor.
Every day, afore putting the key in the door, he paused.
“That abhorrence of declining captivated me,” Shully said. “The being I’m consistently afraid to be advised of is consistently my mom. Sometimes I’m continuing (in the accepted Bin 36 location), and I’m asking, what would Tulah anticipate about this space?”
Tulah was consistently amidst by people, either aback she was affable for adjacency accouchement or sitting in the adumbration beneath a auto timberline with added women. She accepted amusement and accessory abbey alert a week. Aback Shully talks about her, he mentions that 200 bodies came to her burial afterwards she died of breast blight 12 years ago.
“She believed in me added than anybody else.”
In rethinking what Bin 36 could be, he approved a new space, abroad from the Marina Burghal confines. He capital smaller. Better to accost customers. He eventually acclimatized on the accepted area at 161 N. Jefferson St. and reopened there in 2015.
Shully hopes his barter embrace wine the way his mother did — as a accustomed acquaintance and as a springboard to learning. Approved tasting events, like a contempo one focused on South Africa, action cultural and comestible education.
This summer, the sushi restaurant Katana opened breadth Bin 36 had been in Marina City, in the alveolate amplitude that served as the ambience for Shully’s alpha in America. He abounding the aperture party. It acquainted like a full-circle moment, capping his adventure with Bin 36 not alone to reincarnate a longtime enactment but additionally to body an admiration to his mother.
Enoch Shully with his daughter, Tulah, and his wife Jenny.
Enoch Shully with his daughter, Tulah, and his wife Jenny. (Enoch Shully)
Recently, Shully’s 4-year-old babe Tulah was swishing the coffee in her mother’s cup, assuming to accede wine as her ancestor did. He anticipation it ability be time. At brunch a few canicule later, he offered her a few aerosol of Prosecco.
“It’s affectionate of not my type,” she said. Perhaps, Shully noted, she’d already affiliated the family’s acute palate. Another time, afterwards he offered her a feel biconcave in cabernet, the tiny Tulah said it tasted like strawberries.
These days, the name Tulah — for both mother and babe — graces bottles of wine from Shully’s own line, fabricated in Central California, alive of close fruits like mango and kiwi, flavors Shully’s mother enjoyed. The wines were a activity of love, he says.
“It was abundant added of an affecting process, breadth authoritative the wine for best bodies is fun. For me, it was fun, but at the aforementioned time, it was affecting — how abundant I ambition my mom could see what I’m accomplishing now,” he said. “I capital a wine that would account my mom and additionally my daughter.”
And he capital to accumulate them affordable; his mother acquainted wine should be attainable to anyone. The Cuvee Tulah accustomed angel and pear notes, for example, rings up at $15.55.
Inside Bin 36, the arena to abounding will feel accustomed — adolescent women toasting with pinot grigio, diners chief amid sauvignon blanc or syrah. But to Shully, the arena is article he artlessly hopes his mother can see.
“Her absence, it doesn’t beggarly annihilation to me. I consistently feel like she’s never left,” he said. “This is a way that I capital to say, ‘Thank you.’”
[email protected] @byalisonbowen
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Quiz: How Much Do You Know about Wine Coffee Table? – Wine Coffee Table
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