The Girl Talk: Eighty-Sixing Racism and Misogyny Edition

The Girl Talk: Eighty-Sixing Racism and Misogyny Edition

Hideout InnChicagoIL
6:30PM |21+ | $10 suggested donation* to benefit charity chosen by guests

We've heard #MeToo stories from Hollywood to Springfield, but some of the most abusive and toxic behavior at the center of these stories is still experienced every day by women in the bar and restaurant industries.

Most recently, we heard about a high-profile restaurant manager who emotionally and physically abused staff for years — while the restaurant group behind him fired those who spoke up.

This month as people get ready to head to the bars for holiday parties, we’re gathering some of the most influential women in the Chicago food and drink scene to talk about what is being done to make the service industry more safe and inclusive for women, LGBTQ folks and people of color.

Our guests are legends in Chicago and beyond, not only for their abilities behind the bar, but for creating networks of talented, fierce women who mentor younger servers and focus on giving back to their communities.



Shelby Allison co-owns Lost Lake, a tropical cocktail bar in Chicago that opened in 2015 and was named Best American Cocktail Bar at Tales of the Cocktail’s 2018 Spirited Awards, is a three-time James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program (2016, 2017, 2018) and a finalist in 2019, and earned a spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars list (2018). Shelby is a co-founder of Chicago Style, a yearly conference focused on increasing inclusivity, safety, and sustainability within the cocktail community, and was featured in The New York Times, Vogue, and Food and Wine. She also co-founded Shift-Ease, a monthly charitable party at Lost Lake that supports local Chicago organizations working for progressive racial, economic and gender justice, and is a founding board member of the Chicago Period Project, an aspiring non-profit that helps Chicago’s homeless and in-need people experience their periods with dignity. Shelby was one of Chicago Woman’s 10 Most Influential Women in Chicago’s food and beverage community (2018), and one of Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40 Tastemakers (2018).


Nandini was part of the opening team at one of the city’s most groundbreaking cocktail bars, the Violet Hour, which has had a tremendous impact on the industry in Chicago and beyond for more than a decade. Since then, Nandini has done everything from tend bar at Big Star to create an independent cocktail app to open and operate Cindy’s, the beautiful rooftop bar you definitely know if you’ve ever visited the Chicago Athletic Association hotel. She’s now the founder of Grimoire, a consulting company that works with hospitality groups, bars, and restaurants to facilitate positive work environments, and sits on the grants committee for the nonprofit Tales of the Cocktail Foundation.


From coat-check and nightclub “shot girl” to multicertified mixologist, beverage consultant and cocktail guru, Brown has proven herself at a range of levels. And, regardless of her role, she always took notice of how unfairly marginalized groups were treated. In 2016, Brown cofounded Causing a Stir, an organization dedicated to educating and empowering underrepresented individuals within the hospitality industry. With additional experience in event planning and execution, she’s raised awareness and engaged the masses, and membership in her group has since increased to more than 1,000. She also made Wine Enthusiast’s “40 Under 40” this year.

The Girl Talk

The Girl Talk is a monthly show on the fourth Tuesday of the month hosted by Block Club Chicago co-founder Jen Sabella and public education activist and former CPS teacher Erika Wozniak Francis. It’s produced by media strategist Joanna Klonsky. Each month, we feature influential Chicago women and gender nonconforming individuals fighting for social justice. Of course, all are welcome.

Venue Information:
Hideout Inn
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60642