9 Seasonal Pop-Up Bars Where You Can Have Your Holiday Spirit and Drink It Too
As the weather gets chillier and 7 p.m. starts to feel more like midnight, leaving the comfort of your pajamas and couch can feel like a major challenge. But before the winter blues set in, get out the door and into one of these warm winter pop-ups that will keep you comfy and cozy with hot cocktails, festive decor and no judgment for wearing your softest sweatpants as a going-out outfit.
Donner & Blitzen’s Reindeer Lounge
For the holidays, retro Greenpoint bar the Springs will become a reindeer-themed getaway with floor-to-ceiling Christmas trees, a candy-cane wall and a reindeer mural—yes, these are all major Instagram opportunities. Mulled wine, candy-cane shots and spiked eggnog are all on the menu, as is a white-chocolate peppermint bark slushie. Ugly sweaters encouraged.
224 Franklin St., Brooklyn; reindeerlounge.com. Through December 30.
This seasonal iteration of female-owned cocktail den Leyenda celebrates all women who slay (and sleigh). Tinsel, lights and a healthy amount of glitter transform the bar, which brings out festive glassware to serve drinks such as the Chutpzah Spritzah (Aperol, Campari, gin, Manischewitz and brut rosé) and Grandma’s Secret Stash (allspice dram, rum and black tea, served in a teacup). And you can feel good about ordering another round: A dollar from every cocktail sold will be donated to women-focused charities.
221 Smith St., Brooklyn; leyendabk.com. Through December 31.
Miracle on 9th Street, Miracle on 12th Street and Miracle in Brooklyn
The original “Miracle” pop-up, before it became a nationwide craze, began at Alphabet City cocktail lounge Mace. Head to the original location (or check out new outposts on 12th Street and in Williamsburg) for holiday music, expertly crafted themed drinks (served in kitschy holiday barware, natch) and “the nostalgic energy of the best office party you’ve ever been to.”
Multiple locations; miraclepopup.com. Through December 30.
Not one for fake snow? Boilermaker’s seasonal incarnation trades the North Pole for the beach with its tiki-Christmas mash-up. Cocktails like Hawaiian Milk Punch (bourbon, cream, chai syrup and nutmeg) and a Kris Kringle Colada (rum, allspice, lime, pineapple and cream of coconut) are like a vacation in liquid form, while thatched-hut accents and lei garlands set the tropical tone.
13 First Ave., boilermakernyc.com
Snowday in Brooklyn
The second-floor garden terrace of Williamsburg’s Sunday in Brooklyn has transformed into your dream snow-day paradise—regardless of the forecast. Enjoy après ski–inspired bites like table-side raclette service and a stroopwafel bar along with wintry cocktails like a curried hot chocolate with barrel-aged aquavit, hot chamomile with buttered rum served in a thermos for two and the adorable Polar Bear Club piña colada served in a honey-bear bottle.
68 S. Second St., Brooklyn; sundayinbrooklyn. Through February 28.
Snow Globe in the Sky at Ophelia
The already stunning bar atop the Beekman Tower gets even prettier for the season, decking out its glass-encased lounge with crystals, twinkle lights and sparkling snowflakes. Cozy up on the plush furniture (with a blanket, if you like) as you sip your way through the seasonal cocktail menu and gaze out at the 26th-floor view.
3 Mitchell Place; opheliany.com. Through March 30.
Shackleton Whisky and the Arlo NoMad hotel throw it back to Ernest Shackleton’s historic 1907 exhibition to Antarctica with a pop-up inspired by the coldest continent. Thirty-one stories up, this rooftop bar features heated “ice huts” (more like transparent plastic bubble tents, but they’re cute) so you can enjoy the rooftop without freezing. A special menu includes hot cocktails and cold-weather fare like a South Pole pizza made with béchamel sauce, onions, fontina and pancetta.
11 E. 31st St.; arlohotels.com. End date TBD.
Serra Alpina at Birreria
Eataly’s rooftop bar has transformed once again to an Italian Alps retreat, complete with more than 35 types of amaro on the menu, plus cocktails, mulled wine and more. Hearty Northern Italian fare like gnocchi with Gorgonzola will help you brace for any upcoming polar vortexes, and if you’re feeling extra luxe (and spendy), you can opt to add freshly shaved black or white truffles on top of any dish.
200 Fifth Ave.; eataly.com. End date TBD.
This one’s for those who identify more with Scrooge than with Buddy the Elf: Lower East Side lounge the Skinny is going for an anti-holiday theme, complete with a “miserable” Santa making nightly visits, a wheel of misfortune and a live piano player to accompany your grumpy Christmas caroling. Themed drag and burlesque shows will also take place, along with special events like “Sleigh and Lay” speeding dating and dress-up nights.
174 Orchard St.; theskinny-nyc.com. Through January 31.