Christmas Pop-Up Bar Returns to Center City


Tinsel, a pop-up Christmas bar, is in its second year of taking the humbug out of your holiday, one drink at a time.

Tinsel, the pop-up bar that drew sleighloads of cheer-filled revelers last winter in Center City, is returning this year with aggressively merry decor and cocktails that will perk you up from those endless present-wrapping marathons. This year, the bar has a bigger space (located at 116 S. 12th St. in Washington Square West), making room for more eye-popping holiday decor and even more partygoing patrons. The space is the former Simpson’s jewelry store, situated next door to Finn McCool’s. In fact, it is that bar’s proprietors, Teddy Sourias and Craft Concepts Group, who thought of Tinsel in the first place.

Decorator Anne White went full-on festive with the decor. There is a “bow wall,” consisting of hundreds of Christmas bows, and a chandelier in the back room constructed of over 500 glass and plastic ornaments to make the room shimmer and shine. The piece de resistance is the top of the bar, a 33-foot masterpiece by local artist Scott Johnston, whose work is also found at Silk City Diner and Franky Bradly’s.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Johnston pays homage to icons and villains of Christmas with artwork featuring Christmas Gremlin (Spike), Krampus, Snow Miser, Winter Warlock, Jack Skellington, Heat Miser and White Walker (from Game of Thrones). Above the bar, look for the Grinch, Bumble, Oogie Boggie Man and Robot Santa. Johnston also created new Christmas collage wall murals in the back of Tinsel using actual Christmas cards and magazines from Jinxed on East Passyunk, plus his own vintage designs.

Holiday cocktails with a twist are on tap, including one that benefits MANNA that is served in a Tinsel “soup can,” and a snow globe drink featuring Grey Goose La Vanille and White Cranberry along with real “snow.

One more jolly detail – after you’ve drunk a cup of kindness for auld lang syne (or vodka; whatevs), you can pose for the perfect Christmas selfie at the gaily-bedecked red and gold “Santa” throne. Naughty or nice, you’ll leave Tinsel with a smile on your face.

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