ST. LOUIS — For all the St. Louisans who are hesitantly looking forward to the holiday season because of COVID-19, here’s something that could give you a little cheer right now.
Holiday pop-up bars plan to return in 2020 – with several precautions to keep ugly Christmas sweater-wearing patrons safe.
5 On Your Side’s Abby Eats St. Louis podcast team reached out to all of the themed holiday bars that popped up last year and can report all of them plan to deck the halls again this year.
Organizers said safety precautions are being finalized for how they’ll operate in the age of COVID-19. With social distancing and capacity limits still in place, expect reservations to be in shorter supply and higher demand.
Here’s what we know so far about all of the holiday pop-up bars from last year – plus one new one – with all the links and dates you need to know so you can get that cup of holiday cheer.
As always with any establishment during COVID-19, call ahead to check hours and availability.
The original pop-up Christmas cocktail bar in St. Louis is coming back. Miracle STL will be in the same place as usual, at Small Change in south city’s Benton Park neighborhood.
Right now, plans are to be open from mid-November through Dec. 30. Capacity will be limited and masks will be required. All seating is indoors and reservations will be required again.
Because there’s limited capacity and high demand, there will be a $10 reservation fee per person. Money raised through the reservation fees will go toward Santa’s Helpers, Inc., which Miracle STL raises money for every year. All guests also will receive a Miracle STL surprise they can take home.
Reservations aren’t open yet and a date hasn’t been announced. Check Miracle STL’s reservation website for the latest updates.
And for the first time, the popular holiday pop-up bar will offer its cocktails to-go. They’ll be available for purchase on Miracle STL’s website.
The tiki-themed sister bar to Miracle that brought the tropical vibes for the first time last year will be back but with a major change.
Sippin’ Santa is moving locations to the popular cocktail bar Planter’s House in the Lafayette Park neighborhood.
For the month of December, Planter’s House “will be transformed into a tropical Christmas Island paradise,” the organizers told 5 On Your Side. It’s expected to open in early December and end on Dec. 30. Besides the tiki drinks, food also will be available.
Similar to Miracle STL, reservations will be required with a $5 fee per person. Money raised will go toward Sippin’ Santa’s charity: St. Louis Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.
Reservations aren’t open yet and no date has been announced for when they'll be available. Check Sippin’ Santa’s reservation site for updates.
Masks will be required and there is no outdoor seating. Both Sippin' Santa and Miracle STL have HEPA 13 filters installed for better air filtration.
Molly’s in Soulard will once again transform into a winter wonderland. Organizers said last year’s debut of LIT was “wildly successful” and they’re excited to bring the experience back in 2020.
Molly’s co-owner said they’ve come up with a plan to move forward with the holiday event in a safe manner. The pop-up bar website states “current guidelines and mandates will be observed and enforced.”
“After the last eight months, an infusion of holiday cheer and Christmas spirit is just what the community needs,” Luke Reynolds told 5 On Your Side in an emailed statement.
Guests can expect an “over-the-top, experiential Christmas extravaganza to celebrate the end of a crazy year,” he added.
The popular Soulard spot will serve up small plate menu items and the “12 Drinks of LIT-mas” will be back, along with a boozy build-your-own hot chocolate kit. For those wanting something a little more sparkly, there’s the “Wizard of Blizzard”, which is a shimmery martini served in an ornament.
LIT starts on Black Friday, Nov. 27 and will continue through Dec. 27, but only on Wednesdays-Sundays. The hours are 5-11 p.m. Reservations will be required and cost $10 per person. Slots open up on Nov. 1 at noon on Molly’s website.
Up on the Rooftop
The snow globe experience overlooking the downtown St. Louis skyline will return to Three Sixty, which is the rooftop space of Hilton at the Ballpark.
Up on the Rooftop will begin on Friday, Nov. 20. Hours are expected to be 4-11 p.m. but could change due to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions.
Unlike other holiday-themed bars, this one does not require reservations.
As far as safety measures go, organizers said the current COVID-19 safety precautions that are in place will continue, including requiring masks when not eating or drinking, employees wearing masks, 6 feet of distance between all tables and a heavy cleaning schedule.
There won't be any seating outside. However, guests will be able to walk on the patio and the fire pits will be open, weather depending.
Grand Hall Holiday Bar
Not only are last year’s festive bars making a return, but we even have a new pop-up to add to the list this year.
The team at Union Station will debut the Grand Hall Holiday Bar. It’ll feature five specialty cocktails — each coming with their own souvenir glass or mug — and extravagant holiday décor.
The pop-up bar opens on Nov. 18 and will run nightly through Dec. 19. Reservations aren't required but seating is limited and will be available on a first-come first-served basis.
The holiday spirit will fill every corner of Paddy O's again this holiday season. The popular bar next to Busch Stadium will transform into Mistletoe, "the ultimate Christmas pop-up bar with glitzy decorations, festive drinks and light appetizers," the organizers told 5 On Your Side.
They said no expense has been spared turning Paddy O's into a winter wonderland with classic and timeless holiday décor.
"The ambiance combined with the creative cocktails and food makes for the perfect start to the holiday season," organizers said.
Mistletoe will be open select Fridays and Saturdays in December. Reservations can be made by calling 314-588-7313. Walk-ups will be welcome and larger groups can book the Christmas party room.
Masks will be required and social distancing will be practiced.
The Piper Palm House in the heart of Tower Grove Park will once again bring the holiday vides to south city – but there will be some changes in place to keep everyone safe.
Reservations will be required for tables inside. The entire space can even be rented out for a private party for up to 60 guests. Details about how to reserve a table haven’t been released yet. No outdoor seating is planned at this time.
Frosted will run for more days this year than it did in 2019, going from Dec. 14-23. They also plan to offer bottled and canned cocktails to-go for an at-home festive celebration.
The folks at STL Barkeep will run the beverage program. They’re planning on offering a “robust holiday cocktail menu” with hot and cold drinks, along with a “zero proof” menu for those who want a drink without the alcohol.
STL Barkeep is no stranger to handling drinks under COVID-19 restrictions. They’ve been hosting Sip & Stroll events in Tower Grove Park on Fridays and also handle the bar program for “The Lot”, which is the socially distanced concert venue in downtown St. Louis.
They plan to use systems that have worked at those locations to make the experience at Frosted smooth and safe.
“We have been using a contactless order and delivery system at that venue and will be trying to use some form of that at Frosted as well,” Matt Longueville told 5 On Your Side.
Photos: Holiday pop-up bars in St. Louis
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