The lights are bright at 12th and Sansom Streets as Tinsel, the Christmas-theme pop-up bar, has returned to 116 S. 12th St. in Washington Square West for the holidays.
It has a 2020 twist, naturally. Owner Teddy Sourias and his crew have set up a heated streetery along 12th and Sansom Streets. Inside the former jewelry store is the barroom, festooned with 30,000 lights and a riot of decorations, though it’s not a place to hang out, however.
Because Philly’s bars are shut down and indoor dining is prohibited, Tinsel is a walk-through experience: You have the option to order food and drink outside, head in the front door, pick up your drink, ooh and ahh, take a selfie at the alley door, and off you go to sit down.
Food is from the Mexican-theme Sueño next door. There’s no cover charge or admission.
Every year, Sourias and his crew hold a fund-raiser. This year, proceeds will go to feed furloughed workers in the restaurant industry. Tinsel, open till at least Dec. 31, runs 4 to 11 p.m. weekdays, noon to 11 p.m. weekends.
Meanwhile on South Street, Douglas Hager of Brauhaus Schmitz (718 South St.) has set up what he calls “the world’s smallest Christmas village” by recladding the building’s façade with a Bavarian light show and a walk-up bar serving hot cocktails and light bites, including a bratwurst sandwich. There is a streetery with heat lamps. “When life gives you potatoes, you make potato salad with bacon!” Hager posted on the beer hall’s website.
Hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Hager hopes to keep it open as long as he can.