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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas bars in Philly

Center City bar owners are getting smart. Ring those Christmas bells — and wring out some extra revenue.

Tinsel, a Christmas-theme bar, returns to Washington Square West.
Tinsel, a Christmas-theme bar, returns to Washington Square West.Read moreCOURTESY TINSEL

Bar owners are getting smart. Ring those Christmas bells — and wring out some extra revenue.

This season’s crop of yuletide-themed bars include:


UPDATE (11/29/19): Tinsel’s opening has been delayed by what management calls zoning issues.

This is Year 3 for the Christmas-themed cocktail and craft-beer bar, at 116 S. 12th St. in Washington Square West. Teddy Sourias and Craft Concepts Group, who operate Tradesman’s, BRU Craft & Wurst, Blume, U-Bahn, Uptown Beer Garden, and Kontrol, as well as Finn McCool’s, have expanded the space considerably, to about 2,000 square feet.

Artist Scott Johnson pays homage to the icons and villains of Christmas with artwork featuring Christmas Gremlin (Spike), Krampus, Snow Miser, Winter Warlock, Jack Skellington, Heat Miser and a White Walker (from Game of Thrones). Above the bar, look for the Grinch, Bumble, Oogie Boogie Man, and Robot Santa. He also created new Christmas collage murals in the back of Tinsel using actual Christmas cards and magazines from Jinxed on East Passyunk, plus his own vintage designs.

DJ Robert Drake is contributing a playlist that also will be available on Spotify.

Preview night is Wednesday, Nov. 27, but it gets rolling Friday, Nov. 29. Hours are 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday to Thursday, noon to 2 a.m. Friday to Sunday. Last day will be Dec. 30. Menu is here.


Chef Tod Wentz and crew have gone upstairs from the Pearl Tavern (1123 Walnut St.), just as they did for a recent Halloween pop-up bar with Arts in the Industry. It opens Friday, Nov. 29. Hours are 5 p.m. to midnight Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Alison Hangen, the manager, said guests can expect to celebrate the darker side of the holiday season with nightmare-themed cocktails, beers, and decor with murderous Santas, Krampus, and other holiday ghosts and ghouls.

Opening night will feature a celebration of the release of Sly Fox’s Nightmare Before Christmas Ale.

Yule Lodge at Butcher Bar

Butcher Bar, the meat-focused restaurant at 2034 Chestnut St., has converted its enclosed patio into a gathering spot with a fireplace, rustic furnishings, and a bar with six winter-themed cocktails, including a smoked black cherry Manhattan and a Ron Swanson special, which is a 16-year Lagavulin old fashioned and housemade jerky.

The full bar and food menu are available, with the addition of the Hunter’s Trough — an eight-person, $395 platter of venison, duck sausage, elk, bison, and turkey legs, plus fries and cornbread; it must be ordered in advance.

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Bar at Farmer’s Keep

The health-forward restaurant just off 20th and Market Streets (10 S. 20th St.) has Christmased up its dining room and space-heatered rooftop to do a literal 12-day promotion that starts Friday, Nov. 29 and runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until Christmas Day. Lots of Christmas trees and blow-ups, as well as a themed drink menu (you can see it here).

Miracle at ITV and Laurel on East Passyunk

In the Valley, chef Nicholas Elmi’s bar next door to Laurel (1615 E. Passyunk Ave.), will reprise its holiday theme (cocktails, lights, garlands, ribbons, and tchotchkes inspired by nostalgic decorations, and a soundtrack of holiday songs), as an affiliate of the national Miracle pop-up bars. This year, Laurel itself will be part of the festivities, as its heated outdoor garden will be outfitted with fire pits, string lighting, and flannel blankets. Guests who are dining at Laurel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays can get a comp Miracle nightcap there after their meal. It runs through the end of December during regular hours.

Craftsman Row Saloon

This Jewelers Row-area bar-restaurant (112 S. Eighth St.) has more than 5,000 feet of garland plus thousands of ornaments and lights and a drink menu whose selections include Sleighed It, Wrap Music, and Elf-Help Book.

Shops at Liberty Place

The indoor mall (between 16th and 17th, Market and Chestnut Streets) is hosting a pop-up bourbon lounge by Bluebird Distilling from noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays in December.

It will be set up adjacent to the Rotunda with $10 drinks (peppermint mojito, spiced cranberry mule, winter sweater old fashioned, hot mulled cider), and $5 pints of Philadelphia Brewing Company Winter Wünder and Kenzinger, plus hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and coffee.

It’s part of a promo called Sips & Selfies with Santa, which features free photos with Santa and a selfie contest benefiting the nonprofit Cradles to Crayons.

List has been updated