Bars and restaurants are doing their take on pop-up bars this year because of the pandemic. Check out a few that are coming this season:
Around Town: The team behind the bustling annual Christkindlmarket known for commemorative mugs and German Christmas treats in Wrigleyville and Daley Plaza have taken festivities online in 2020. The virtual event features Christkindmarket boxes for sale ornaments, scented candles and more. Food isn’t as big a focus this year without the usual vendors, but fans can scratch the itch with a Prost! package ($50) includes a box of Kathi German Pretzel Baking Mix, a jar of German mustard, Black Kassel Salami Whips, and Nic Nac peanuts.Christkindlmarket, available online, Open through December 31.
Avondale: Ownership at craft beer bar Dmen Tap will dock its Donerman food truck on Black Friday in front of the restaurant at 2849 W. Belmont Avenue for a Christmas Market Pop Up designed bring some seasonal cheer during the pandemic. No one will be permitted inside to eat or drink, but customers can plan to buy hot cocoa, cider, schnitzel sandwiches, pretzels, sausages, and even gooey raclette cheese from the truck. Customers will also be able to purchase hot mulled wines to-go at the bar. The event is not officially affiliated with Christkindlmarket, but organizers lent Dmen their blessing to hold the event and have wrangled a selection of vintage Christkindlmarket mugs on site. In light of the surge in COVID19 cases in Chicago, staff will encourage social distancing in line and strongly urge customers to take food to go. Pre-orders are available via Tock.Dmen Tap’s Christmas Market Pop-Up, 2849 W. Belmont Avenue in front of Dmen Tap, Open noon to 9 p.m. daily Friday through December 23.
Lincoln Park: Neighborhood fixture Gemini is popping up with a hot cocoa stand for the winter holiday season, according to a rep. Staff are proffering a hot Belgian drinking chocolate blend plus hot apple cider, coffee, espresso drinks and large-batch cocktails to go for groups up to four. Top it off with cookies in seasonal flavors like oatmeal butterscotch, peppermint sprinkle, and ginger snap.Gemini Hot Cocoa Stand, 2075 N. Lincoln Avenue, Open 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Loop: Downtown hotel LondonHouse Chicago this month launched Christmas pop-up Rudolph’s Rooftop, according to a news release. Patrons can take in gorgeous views from the 22nd-floor terrace, LH Rooftop, which is outfitted with enormous nutcrackers, multicolored lights, and red and white poinsettias. Special menu items include truffled chicken pot pie (alba truffle, puff pastry), beet-cured salmon gravlax (pumpernickel, creme fraiche), lobster mac and cheese (andouille sausage), and more. There are also plenty of seasonal cocktails such as the Ugly Sweater (Don Julio Blanco, mango, habanero, orange) and the Bad Santa (Zacapa 23 Rum, creme de banane, Carpano Antica, toasted coconut, absinthe). Each seating is limited to 50 with a maximum of six per table, per Chicago pandemic guidelines. Customers must wear masks when they’re not seated. Reservations via Tock are strongly encouraged, and igloo seating is available by reservation only (with a $500 minimum) at firstname.lastname@example.org.Rudolph’s Rooftop, 85 E. Upper Wacker Drive, Open 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily through January 3.
Wrigleyville: Over-the-top Christmas extravaganza Santa Baby, an annual holiday pop-up at sports bar Deuces, is moving forward this year, according to the event website. Historically, the celebration (along the lines of notorious Christmas bar crawl TBOX) is known for drawing large, drunken crowds. Organizers have instituted some pandemic-era changes, adding even more eye-popping yuletide decor than usual in the hope that it’ll help keep partiers’ butts in seats instead of wandering around the space for photo ops as they have in years past. Other changes include exclusively outdoor seating (though a heated tent and rooftop igloos are available), and an hour and 45 minute limit on how long groups (of six or less) can stay. Menu items include large-batch cocktails for groups like Jingle Juice (Bacardi spiced rum, sparkling wine, citrus juice, rosemary) and Red Nose Rudolph (Grey Goose vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, Sprite, Red Bull Red Cranberry Energy). Soak up some of that alcohol with burgers, nachos, and more. Reservations are required, and are available online.Santa Baby, 3505 N. Clark Street, Open 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.