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Christmas pop-up bars growing in popularity

Posted: 7:49 AM, Dec 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-24 10:25:19-05

DALLAS, Texas — Some co-workers have found something new to bond them this holiday: A cocktail class at the office.

Marisa Jeffrey said her office wanted to do something different this year, so she dressed as a fireplace.

“I really liked the light up aspect of this one…,” she said, pointing to the holiday onesie she was wearing. Her colleagues were wearing similar ones with elves and reindeer and more.

They are taking a cocktail class at a bar where a fun outfit is almost a requirement.

“We really wanted people to step through the door and be transformed,” said Scott Jenkins of Miracle at Hide in Dallas, Texas.

Jenkins is co-owner of Dallas bar “Hide,” which, this month, is called “Miracle at Hide” — a temporary holiday pop-up bar.

The response?

“It’s uh I can’t even put it into words. It’s been insane,” Jenkins said.

Word-of-mouth has led to lines out the door… even on a weekday — all for a Christmas bar.

It’s a “snowball effect, so to speak,” Jenkins said.

That snowball started rolling 5 years ago at New York bar “Mace”— where founder Greg Boehm started the concept, calling it “Miracle on 9th St.” The name pays homage to the 1947 holiday classic, “Miracle on 34th St.”

He’s since turned “Miracle” into a franchise. And as of this season, they’ve partnered with 84 bars around the world, including Panama, Mexico and New Zealand.


He thinks he knows the secret to its popularity.

“Christmas is generally a very stressful time of year for a lot of people, and I think a lot’s happening in the world that’s creating additional stress,” said Greg Boehm, founder of Miracle. “ And when you walk into a Miracle its very much transporting you into a different place, a different time. There’s some nostalgia.”

Bars such as Hide pay a flat rate to the Miracle team.

Everything from the greeting-card inspired menus, the glassware — even the garnishes — are on theme.

Stirring up a signature Christmapolitan cocktail — their take on a cosmo — Jenkins’ co-owner at Hide, Nick Backlund, says he thought he’d quickly get sick of the holiday tunes.

“I was gonna be really mad about Christmas music every day but now I’m singing them all the time,” Backlund said.

Jenkins says the response to a Christmas bar is, in a way, heartwarming.

“To be honest it gives me a little bit of hope. it’s something that, especially in the weird kind of climate we have today, people are out being happy, spreading cheer, having fun, being lighthearted,” Jenkins said.

The only thing that could make it better? According to one woman — maybe if the bar … came to you.