For some people, Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – means shopping oneself into oblivion as the malls and department stores bowl you over with doorbusters and other great deals. For Center City-ites, however, this Friday means the yearly start of a young but beloved holiday tradition: the opening of Tinsel, the renowned holiday pop-up bar, on 12th Street in the site of the former Simpson’s Jewelry in Midtown Village. After nixing some walls, a safe, and a staircase some years ago, the space has been redesigned into a 2,000-square-foot watering hole that will make you feel your absolute merriest.
Tinsel is definitely a standout, with a facade looking exactly like Santa’s workshop out of a cartoon. Inside, you’ll feel like the star of a holiday snowglobe – the extravagant chandelier is decked out with wrapped presents, the walls are decked in fairy lights, and hundreds of ornaments decorate every flat surface. The bar has been custom-painted again this year with iconic Christmas villains: the Grinch, Jack Skellington, the Snow Miser, and others.
The concept bar comes to Center City from the Craft Concept Group, the masterminds behind such great Philadelphia eats and drink joints as Blume, Tradesman’s, Bru Craft and Wurst, U-Bahn, Finn McCool’s Ale House and Uptown Beer Garden. Owner Teddy Sourias commented on how hectic it is juggling so many balls in the air:
“This is actually our busiest time of year at all of the other locations, so honestly it’s probably crazy for us to dedicate so much time and energy on this little pop up when our very large, vibrant other bars and restaurants are all buzzing.”
It’s an effort much-appreciated by Tinsel regulars, who turn out in drove for themed cocktails like “Canned Goods,” a concoction of Red Bull, cranberry juice, and rum that never fails to give even angels a buzz. Local Santas who show up at the bar in full costume receive a hefty ho-ho-ho 50 percent discount on their tab.
Tinsel opens at noon this Friday. Will you be among the crowd on Santa’s “naughty” list?