The line at Binny's stretched for what felt like a mile, and thanks to a 6 a.m. arrival, Luka Rachowsky was at the front of it. The die-hard Bulls fan wanted to make sure he'd be the first to greet Scottie Pippen when he arrived five hours later.
"You get hyped up," Rachowsky said. "You're waiting in line for a couple hours, and then you see him there. And you're like, 'Oh, this is going to happen. It's going down.'"
Just before 11, Pippen walked into the store, and a few minutes later, he sat down and started signing bottles of his new bourbon. It launched exclusively on Thursday in the city that helped make him a world-wide star.
"It’s always great to be in Chicago and be among some of the greatest people in the world," said Pippen. "This week has been pretty special for me, dropping my bourbon. Just getting a response from people. It’s just good to be back in the city."
The 55-year-old Hall of Famer says the idea for the bourbon was hatched during the pandemic. It's called Digits, not for any personally significant reason, but the bottle features pictures of Pippen's hand. And of course the most important detail? The taste.
"It’s going to be smooth," Pippen said. "There's no sharp edges. It’s got a nice flavor – vanilla. It’s just a good bourbon. I think it's easy to drink, and I think people will like it."
When you've toasted to six titles, your slant on spirits carries some extra weight.
"I've always been a bit of a drinker," Pippen said. "I won a few championships, so it started some celebration early in my life."
Also noteworthy is the fact that Pippen's former teammate, Michael Jordan, has his own spirit, called Cincoro Tequila. Has Scottie sent MJ a bottle of Digits to sample?
"It's in the mail," Pippen said with a smile.