This Christmas season, the downtown pizzeria Lucille is turning over its entire bar in the spirit of the season.
"Starting the day after Thanksgiving, Lucille is transforming into a Christmas themed bar called Miracle on King Street," said beverage director Tom Dufek.
"You’re always looking for ways to do fun things and keep people from getting bored. And who doesn’t love Christmas?"
Lucille will be among 50-plus restaurants and bars to host a pop-up holiday bar called Miracle, launched in 2014 in New York by Greg Boehm of the bars Boilermaker and MACE.
The way the organizers describe it, every spot will temporarily turn into a boozy winter wonderland of nostalgic holiday cheer.
"Each of the locations will deck their halls with lights, garlands, ribbons and tchotchkes inspired by nostalgic vintage Christmas decorations, with a soundtrack of holiday songs playing throughout the season," a release explained.
In place of Lucille's usual line up of tiki drinks and rum-forward cocktails will be Miracle concoctions, like the Snowball Old Fashioned (gingerbread bourbon, wormwood bitters and lemon zest) and the Christmopolitan, made with vodka, elderflower liqueur, herbs and "spiced cranberry sauce."
Others are themed to holiday movies. The Bad Santa is mulled wine with port, orange liqueur and spices, served warm. How The Gimlet Stole Christmas is based on gin with a pine, caraway and sage cordial, and You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out is abed on pumpkin spiced rye whiskey with marshmallow syrup.
Lucille will bring in a new line of glassware for the pop-up, including mugs. Other participating locations in the Midwest include The Outsider in Milwaukee, Lawless in Minneapolis and The Orbit Room in Chicago. Lost Lake, a Chicago tiki bar, is doing a tiki-themed riff on the pop-up called Sippin' Santa.
While Lucille's entire drink menu will turn over, though there is some flexibility with recipes – no requirements on what brands of spirits to use, for exapmle.
"It’s fun, it’s seasonal," Dufek said. "We already decorate with lights and wreaths. The opportunity to transform the bar ... it’s the perfect thing."
Dufek called Lucille's announcement "an early Christmas present" to bartender Ryan Williams, who with Maddy Van Elzen, director of hospitality and special events, is particularly excited to make the transformation.
"Maddy is excited to decorate the place," said Dufek. "She’s going to be in decoration heaven.
"It's going to be a blast."