The Christmas pop-up bars have taken over!
If you walk through Wrigleyville this time of year, it looks more like a tiny Christmas village on the North Pole rather than the home of the Cubs baseball team. Christmas pop-up bars have taken over the neighborhood once again to spread holiday joy to Chicagoans. There are so many of these festive pop-ups that we decided to make a list of our favorites. We don’t want to pit bars against each other (that wouldn’t be in the Christmas spirit) so these bars are listed in no particular order.
This two-story Christmas pop-up bar is one of the most popular of its kind in Wrigleyville. Located inside the Country Club, the Christmas Club is in its second year of business and to say that business is booming would be an understatement. With a unique cocktail menu, multiple themed-rooms, and jolly staff, The Christmas Club promises a merry good time for all. More information.
2. Elf’d Up
This Buddy the Elf themed bar is another favorite among Chicagoans. The Stretch Bar & Grill really went all out decorating here. Elf legs hang off the outside sign, from the ceiling, and out of mirrors; there’s a giant tree in the back corner being straddled by Buddy himself; they even dress up the bouncer in elf-attire. The pop-up is a truly dedicated space for fans of Will Ferrel’s classic Christmas movie. Elf’d Up also offers a Brunch with Buddy Christmas Brunch and Elf trivia every Wed. More information.
Chicago’s only Hanukkah Bar opened for the first time Dec 1 at the Graystone Tavern. 8 Crazy Nights is unlike any other holiday bar, decorated with over 8,000 blue and white lights, dreidel and Star of David ornaments, lighted menorahs, Mensch on a Bench, and more. The menu features rotating beers, an 18-foot menorah “shotski,” boozy donuts, and traditional Jewish food favorites. 8 Crazy Nights is open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so if you don’t celebrate Christmas and you’re looking for a fun place to hang out, look no further! More information.
4. Santa Baby
Santa Baby at the Deuces and Diamonds Club is a multi-level, over-the-top Christmas experience. It’s less of a bar and more of a nightly Christmas party with appearances from Santa himself, the gingerbread man, Christmas elves, and more. The decor features wall-to-wall Christmas decorations, an outdoor “Gingerbread Village,” a Christmas dance floor, and several bars. The Christmas pop-up has several weekly specials including Movie Mondays where you can catch your favorite Holiday movie, Christmas Game Night, “The Night Before Canvas” paint and sip, Christmas Karaoke, and more! Tickets are required due to popular demand but are often free for general admission. More information.
This pop-up Christmas bar is actually put together by the same people behind Santa Baby. That doesn’t mean it’s not distinct from its cousin down the road, though. Rudolph’s Bar features new photo opps at Grinch’s Piano Bar, Frosty’s Rooftop, Rudolph’s Lounge, and more! All of Rudolph’s reindeer siblings are known to make an appearance as well as the Grinch and Frosty the Snowman. Both Santa’s Baby and Rudolph’s Bar donate a portion of their proceeds to Toys for Tots and Humble Design as part of The Claus Cause, so you can turn up for the holidays and give back at the same time! More information.
6. Santa’s Workshop
This is another Christmas Bar that makes for incredible Instagram photos. With “rows and rows of 10-foot tall trees,” a Santa slay with appearances from the big guy, and holiday food and drink specials, Santa’s Workshop is larger-than-life. The pop-up is located inside Old Crow Smokehouse and also features a rooftop bar enclosed in four cabanas with fireplaces. The rooftop bar seats 16 people and is first-come-first-serve, but can be reserved for private parties. More information.
7. Mistletoe at Hush Money
The second floor of Mordecai’s has been redecorated for the holiday season and Christmas pop-up bar trend. A special holiday menu is available featuring festive cocktails like Santa’s Munchies, a cinnamon horchata and tequila cocktail topped off with CBD oil; Santaclaw’s Basic Reindeer with vodka, ginger, and peppermint soda; and Keep The Change (Ya Filthy Animal) flavored with American Whiskey, Alpine Amaro, maple, and Winter Forest bitters. More information.
8. TBOX’s Wrigleyville Christmas Crawl
Want to see all of Wrigleyville’s best Christmas pop-up bars? The Twelve Bars of Xmas holiday bar crawl and costume party stops at 30+ bars including 12 Holiday pop-ups as part of its legendary crawl through Wrigleyville. The crawl starts Dec 14 at 9 a.m. with opening ceremonies at Cubby Bear Wrigleyville. Join in for the 24th annual TBOX, Chicago’s largest and longest-running Christmas bar crawl. More information.
Feature photo courtesy of Elf’d Up.