Seasonal pop-up bars have arrived in the Charlotte area, providing another festive way to celebrate the holidays.
Expect lights, decor galore and, of course, themed cocktails you won’t find the rest of the year. (Don’t forget to put on your best ugly Christmas sweater to set the tone for the evening.)
Ring in the holiday season with good cheer and a seasonal cocktail at one of these Charlotte-area pop-up bars:
Location: 158 N Main St., Mooresville, NC 28115
The vibe: This Mooresville spot transformed with festive yet kitschy, holiday decorations.
The drinks: The menu includes a cocktail list with drinks like vodka Christmapolitan and cognac Jingle Balls Nog. Beer and wine are available, too.
What to know: Entry is first-come, first-served. Tables are limited to two hours.
Location: 2433 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203
The vibe: The halls are decked out Griswold-style, and there’s a slate of inventive drinks.
The drinks: Offerings include the Bad Santa, served hot with aged rum, velvet falernum, mixed spiced butter, oat milk and nutmeg, and the Elfing Around, with prosecco, gin, mulled wine reduction, grapefruit shrub, aromatic bitters and orange bitters.
What to know: Unlike last year, there are no reservations.
Location: 21234 Catawba Ave., Cornelius, NC 28031
The vibe: Think tropical mixed with Christmas, and you’re there. You can also visit its sister spot at The Royal Tot in Charlotte.
The drinks: The Jingle Bird cocktail combines bourbon, pineapple rum, Campari, lime, pineapple and a secret jingle mix, while the Yule Tide includes tequila, applejack, lime and maple-cranberry syrup.
What to know: Reservations are required, as are tickets for nightly events such as a Christmas ornament painting class ($25) and private Christmas mixology class ($40) offered on multiple dates.
The vibe: The Royal Tot will transform into the Christmas bar Sippin’ Santa, with weekly events and a holiday-themed menu.
The drinks: Rudolph’s Rum Rhapsody, meant for sharing, features Jamaican and Puerto Rican rums, lime, orange, pineapple, passion fruit, falernum, honey, ginger, angostura aromatic bitters. Other offerings include the Sippin Santa (with aged Demerara rum, amaro, lemon, orange and gingerbread mix) and the Kris Kringle Colada (with Dark Jamaican rum, amaro, allspice liquer, lime, pineapple and cream of coconut.)
What to know: All service will be walk-in only.
Location: Billy Sunday, 1115 N Brevard St UNIT 1, Charlotte, NC 28206
The vibe: Billy Sunday will transform into a holiday bar with themed cocktails, a decked out space and a Kris Kringle pop-up market.
The drinks: There’s 16 options, including Shitt*ers Full (an eggnog with bourbon, cream, egg and nutmeg), Yippeeee Kyay Motherf*cker (a hot buttered rum with gingerbread spices and brown sugar) and This Side of the Nuthouse (with Maker’s Mark bourbon, pie spice and apple butter bitters).
What to know: It’s first-come, first-serve. The Optimist Hall spot will also hold movie nights, cocktail classes and s’mores on the patio throughout the season.
Location: 1212 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205
The vibe: Speakeasy attendees are encouraged to dress in their best ugly holiday sweater and enter a contest for a chance to win a $100 Supperland gift card by posting a photo of themselves on Instagram using #supperland. The restaurant will choose a winner in January based on creativity and holiday spirit. (Note: Your Instagram profiles must be public or your photo won’t be seen.)
The drinks: A four-cocktail tasting menu features gin, spiced whisky, aged rum and tequila. Each drink — created by head mixologist Colleen Hughes and bar manager Rhea Buck — will be paired with a dish created by chef Chris Rogienski and the Supperland culinary team.
What to know. Advance ticket sales are required. The event runs through Jan. 7, on Wednesdays through Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The price is $140 plus tax and tip.