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.
Frosted is going beyond the boundaries of Tower Grove Park for an at-home experience in 2020.
This is a change from the original plans. Organizers had hoped to allow a limited number of guests into the Piper Palm House for this year’s pop-up bar, but an increase in COVID-19 cases has led them to shift gears.
“Frosted at Home” will feature cocktails from STL Barkeep, beer from Schlafly and snacks from Pretzel Boys. Each take home package also includes access to a one-hour online show with cocktail demonstrations, holiday music from Just Joshin Around and stand-up comedy from Chris Cyr, Angela Smith and Mia Jackson.
The holiday-themed cocktail menu will feature festive riffs on an old fashioned, Negroni, margarita and cosmopolitan.
Here is the cost for the at-home packages:
- $50 – 2 single-serve cocktails, 1 Schlafly Park Lager, pretzel bites and dipping sauce from Pretzel Boy’s, access to the holiday show
- $90 – 4 single-serve cocktails, Schlafly Park Lager 2-pack, pretzel bites and dipping sauce from Pretzel Boy’s, access to the holiday show
- $150 – 8 single-serve cocktails, Schlafly Park Lager 4-Pack, pretzel bites and dipping sauce from Pretzel Boy’s, access to the holiday show
- $250 – 16 single-serve cocktails, Schlafly Park Lager 8 Pack, pretzel bites and dipping sauce from Pretzel Boy’s, access to the holiday show
Packages can be picked up at the Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park beginning Friday, Dec. 18. Customers can choose a pickup date and time when checking out on the Frosted website. The last day to order is Tuesday, Dec. 22.
A portion of all Frosted at Home proceeds will benefit Tower Grove Park.
The team at Lazy Tiger in the Central West End is mixing, stirring and shaking up cocktails for St. Louisans to enjoy at home. They’ve launched an at-home holiday cocktail celebration called Filthy Animal, which pays tribute to "Home Alone."
Lazy Tiger’s Tim Wiggins said the original plan was to deck out the cocktail bar for the holidays, but with COVID-19 cases rising, they switched gears and decided to offer to-go options instead.
“This holiday pop-up at home is meant to keep our hardworking staff employed through the season while also giving back to the St. Louis community,” Wiggins said.
The Filthy Animal pop-up features 10 new cocktails, including “Sleigh, Girl, Sleigh!” which features gin and midori, a Reese’s-flavored old fashioned and a gingerbread eggnog.
You can buy the cocktails "a la carte," through a six-pack or in a “Jolly Giant” 25-ounce container. There also are gift packs that include a festive mug.
Cocktails can be preordered online. They’ll be available through Dec. 23 for pickup. Delivery is available every Friday and on Dec. 23.
“Our team will be doing all of the cocktail deliveries, and every tip will support them during these tough times,” Wiggins added.
Public School House in Cottleville is bringing back its festive menu for the Toasted Chestnut popup.
The themed cocktails will be available Wednesdays through Saturdays for three weeks in December. The holiday spirits include a merry margarita, Christmas sangria, Russian nog and a toasted chestnut old fashioned.
Reservations for dine-in cocktails and appetizers can be made on the Toasted Chestnut booking site.
Photos: Holiday pop-up bars in St. Louis
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