-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
Ghosts and ghouls, witching hour approaches. Teddy Sourias and Craft Concepts Group – the creators of Philadelphia’s Christmas Pop-up Bar – announces the grand opening of Nightmare Before Tinsel. Philadelphia’s Halloween Pop-up Bar will creak open its doors earlier than ever before for the start of September Spooky Season. Starting this Friday, September 17, 2021, at 4:00pm, enter a spooky new world created inside a 100+ former jewelry store space at 116 S. 12th Street in Midtown Village. Among the ghosts that still haunt the space – including the ghosts of Tinsel’s past – look for eerie ambiance, scary photo opps, witches bru cocktails, seasonal fall beers, costumed bartenders, and tons of frights and flights. For 2021, Nightmare Before Tinsel will debut its new season theme with The Devil’s Lair where The Devil of Midtown Village invites visitors on a trip to the underworld they won’t ever forget. Nightmare will remain open through October 31, 20121 with hours set for Monday through Friday, 4:00pm to 2:00am, and Saturday and Sunday, 2:00pm to 2:00am. For more about Nightmare Before Tinsel, visit the new website at www.nightmarebeforetinsel.com or follow @TinselPhilly on social media.
“Craft Concepts Group is ready to unleash your worst (and best) nightmare,” said Sourias. “We are kicking off Spooky Season in Philadelphia earlier than ever before. Nightmare Before Tinsel will keep you scared for six weeks leading up to Halloween. We have been working away to bring you this beloved Halloween tradition unlike any other in the region. We also are trying to constantly think out of the box and have a little fun along the way. We can’t wait to journey to the underworld together and experience The Devil’s Lair.”
The former home of Simpson’s Jewelry, and the home of Tinsel Christmas Bar, has been converted from top to bottom, left to right and everything in between with scenes, images and custom art that bring Philadelphia’s Nightmare to life. Exhibits, props, decorations and photo opportunities will range from scary and gory, to ironic and funny, the retro and vintage.
For this year’s special theme, Nightmare takes a red hot trip down below with The Devil’s Lair. The Devil of Midtown Village has officially completed renovations to his new vacation underworld, the former Simpsons Jewelry Store located at 12th and Samson streets. The entrance gates are open, ready to tempt anyone who dares to enter. Those brave enough to pass go must continue through his mysterious gateway; arriving into the Devil’s Living Room, filled with a flaming hot and bloody cave dripping with human remains. Welcome to your nightmare.
Unfortunately, escaping isn’t so easy. The Grim Reaper and his clan stand guard at the exit, ready to slaughter those who attempt to flee. Should you make it past, don’t get excited. The tunnel escape only leads into a dead end with the Devil’s Dining Room with such an intense electric force field that only he himself can withstand. In order for the Devil to maintain his eternity, he feasts on the heads of small children to continue his youth. There is no escape after entering through the bloody gateway. The only chance of survival is to grab a beverage and have a fiery good time.
In the main Nightmare bar area, look for 1,037 human intestines hanging high above, and the heads of two small children hidden among the remains. On the bar top and along the entrance wall, artist Scott Johnston has created a collection of original art murals that pay homage to famous horror and Halloween characters – both real and imagined. Look for famous faces like IT!, Ash from Evil Dead, Duane Jones from Night of the Living Dead, Edgar Allan Poe, Jack Nicholson from the Shining, Linda Blair from the Exorcist, H__lraiser’s Lament Configuration, H.P. Lovecraft and others. Johnston also created vintage Halloween art that covered the railings, bathroom and other corners of the bar – with vintage and antique postcards, greeting cards, music covers and more. Johntson said he wanted to showcase famous monsters, blacklight weirdness and a touch of Euro horror and cult cinema this year.
Nightmare Before Tinsel is over 1,400 square feet of spooked-out space designed by interior designer Anne White of AGW Interiors. The design features an expanded open space from the original concept, with select walls and the staircase removed for added room inside.
From eerie ambiance to quirky cocktails, look for a full selection of exclusive and spirited cocktails and witches brews. Behind the bar, look for your favorite bartenders from BRU, Tradesman’s, Blume Burger, Finn McCools, Tinsel and Uptown Beer Garden rustling about pouring potions and seasonal fall beers. Like Tinsel, the bar will feature selections in theme, several with a take-away souvenir so you can never escape Philadelphia’s Nightmare. For the true-spirit seekers and adventurous, costumes are welcome and encouraged – but optional. The opening menu for this truly unique Halloween pop-up bar includes:
* Select cocktails come with take-away souvenir vessels.
Ecto Cooler Shot $11
Crystal Head Vodka, Midori, Pineapple Juice, Gummy Brain
The Ninth Gate $16
Patron Barrel Select Reposado, Fernet, Chocolate Simple, Orange Juice
Dipped in Wax $12
Makers Mark, Maple Simple, Apple Cider, Cranberry Juice
Pumpkin Brew $11
Pinnacle Pumpkin Spice, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Cold Brew Coffee
Sinful Sap $12
Manatawny Maple Whiskey, Magdala Orange Liqueur, Cinnamon Simple, Orange Peel
Blood Bag $16
Espolon Blanco, Orange Liqueur, Cranberry Juice, Red Bull
The Fog $13
Bluecoat Gin, Apple Cider, Champagne
Hot as Hell $15
Bluebird Dark Rum, Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur, Edible Glitter
BEER / DRAFTS
Dogfish Head Punkin $7 / Pumpkin Ale, 7.0%
Two Roads Roadsmary’s Baby $7 / Pumpkin Ale, Rum Barrel Aged, 6.8%
Sly Fox Octoberfest $6 / Amber Lager
Rogue Batsquatch $7 / Hazy IPA
BEER / CANS
Miller Lite $6 / 4.2%
Rebel Hard Pumpkin Spice Latte $7 / Hard Coffee 5.0%
White Claw Cherry $7 / Seltzers 5.0%
Jack’s Original Cider $7 / Semi-sweet Cider 5.5%
Three Floyds Zombie Dust $7 / Pale Ale 6.5%
Surly Give the Devil His Due $9 / DIPA 9.3%
Nightmare Before Tinsel hours are Monday through Friday, 4:00pm to 2:00am, and Saturday to Sunday from 2:00pm to 2:00am. From the most wonderful time of year to the things nightmares are made of, Philadelphia’s Halloween Pop-up Experience will creak open its doors this week on Friday, September 17, 2021, at 4:00pm. Come one, come all – if you dare. For more information about Nightmare, visit www.nightmarebeforetinsel.com, and follow @TinselPhilly on social media.
For the health and safety of all visitors and employees, all visitors to Tinsel should be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination at the door before entering.
Simpson’s Jewelry was a family run, full service, jewelry store which was established in 1895. In 2017, the 100+ year former jewelry shop passed the baton from the sparkle of diamonds to the twinkle of hundreds of holiday lights for Tinsel – and now to the dead of night for Nightmare. Tinsel brought new life into the street level space that was vacant for years, and Nightmare continues that tradition. Tinsel joined the ranks of Craft Concepts Group that now includes Blume Burger, Tradesman’s, BRU Craft and Wurst, U-Bahn, Finn McCool’s Ale House, Kontrol, and Uptown Beer Garden.
Tinsel started out as Philadelphia’s only home-grown Christmas Bar that brought Christmas cheer into the space formerly occupied by Simpson’s Jewelry in Midtown Village each year. Tinsel debuted to capacity crowds every single day it was open in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Back in 2017, Tinsel was originally opened in less than three weeks when Simpson’s moved out of the space next to Finn McCool’s. In 2018, Craft Concepts Group spent months on raising the ceilings, breaking through the walls, exposing the original grand staircase, lengthening the bar and creating even more space for holiday revelry. For 2019, Tinsel became more than a Christmas pop-up bar when Nightmare Before Tinsel debuted for spooky season. Tinsel’s unique pop-up space then was activated for the entire month of Halloween and during the holidays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
For 2020, Christmas came early with the debut of Tinsel in July with America’s first-ever socially-distanced Christmas themed pop-up eatery – that was designed to bring light and hope during these very challenging and serious times. Nightmare Before Tinsel changed to a walk-through Halloween attraction, and Tinsel Christmas Pop-up continued to spread holiday joy.
Now in 2021, look for Nightmare Before Tinsel and Tinsel Christmas Pop-up to return in their original format for spooky season and for the holidays.