Halloween Pop-up Bar Nightmare Before Tinsel Opens on September 15th!

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
photo by Society Hill Films

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 for the 2022 Spooky Season. Philadelphia’s Halloween Pop-up Bar will creak open its doors earlier than ever before. Starting this Thursday, September 15, 2022, at 4:00pm, enter a spooky new world created inside a 100+ year-old former jewelry store 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 brew cocktails, seasonal fall beers, costumed bartenders, and tons of frights and flights. For 2022, Nightmare Before Tinsel will debut its new season theme that takes visitors through an apocalyptic zombie-scape, into a vibrant haunted mansion festooned with pirate skeletons, hulking beasts, and famous monsters from across the decades.

“Craft Concepts Group is ready to unleash your worst (and best) nightmare,” said Sourias. “Nightmare Before Tinsel this year hopes to be our most thoughtful, provocative, and exciting Halloween experience yet. 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. Our team has done some amazing work for this year to change things up in a big way – the attention to detail and artistry is next level.”

“This year we proudly present an immersive fantasy and horror adventure, inspired by a variety of nostalgic horror and fantasy themes,” said Artist and Interior Designer Scott Johnston. “Let us take you through an apocalyptic zombie-scape, into a vibrant haunted mansion festooned with pirate skeletons, hulking beasts, and famous monsters from across the decades…  past macabre artifacts from our haunted and twisted past, and ultimately into the shocking depths of our shared imaginations.”

For 2022, 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.

This year marks the reunion of Scott “Count Scotchula” Johnston, now as lead designer and artist, with CCG Project Manager Alex Bokulich, and together they have enlisted the talents of dozens of performing and visual artists from across the region, while effectively increasing the previous wall space by at least 20% to create more thrills and scares than ever before.

New features this year include 17 “living” screens, showing videos filmed by Scotchula, with surprises around every corner, as well as custom DJ playlists for each night of the week, curated by South Philly based DJ “The Touched” on loan from the Mahoning Drive In Theater. The playlist for each night centers on specific eras and themes of horror cinema, interspersed with popular (and esoteric) music from their respective eras.

Nightmare has also added dozens of lifesize as well as “larger than life” fantasy and horror figures throughout the space, from fuzzy nostalgia to “knock your socks off scary,” with hundreds of curious artifacts and custom artworks throughout the space. Plus, crowd favorites from the past (scary babies, outside facade and other signature elements) will be back but in new ways. The ever-popular throne room is back and full of surprises – including a mid-season switch! Come for the spooky fun early in the season, but don’t miss a twist or turn after October 1st when it gets a make-over for those that want to visit twice.

“Look for less quick passing thrills and much-more in depth, immersive and detailed scares in the new Hallloween galleries,” said Project Manager Alex Bokulich. “The focus this year was about maximizing our space, adding more depth and on the story-telling. A lot of the things you will see in nightmare this year were not sourced, they were specifically crafted by original artists – this is the most original art and custom installations ever for Nightmare.”

Among the fiends lurking about in Nightmare, look for a smoking dragon, larger than life skeleton and zombie version of Philly favorites Gritty and the Phanatic. Additionally, Johnston, Bokulich and CCG has partnered with the Belasco Collection UK for an exhibit within the nightmare that they say is “Not for the screamish.”  

Nightmare Before Tinsel is 2,000 square feet of spooked-out space designed by interior designer and local artist Scott Johnston.

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. The opening menu for this truly unique Halloween pop-up bar includes:  

Ecto Cooler Shot, $11
Comes in take-away Clear Skull Shot Glass
Crystal Head Vodka, Melon Liqueur, Pineapple Juice, Dry Ice

Blood Bar, $16
Comes in take-away “Blood Bag”
Union Forge Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Cranberry Juice

Vampire Shot, $12
Comes in take-away Onyx Black Skull Shot Glass
Corralejo Blanco, Orange Liqueur, Maple Cinnamon Syrup

Candyman Shot, $12
Comes in take-away Aurora Skull Shot Glass
Skrewball Whiskey, Raspberry Liqueur, Ginger Ale

Dark Jawn, $18
Comes in take-away Skeleton Hand Flute
Fosforo Tobala Mezcal, Luxardo, Amaretto, Chocolate Bitters, Vanilla Extract, Activated Charcoal

Hokum-Smokum, $15
Comes in take-away Black Wine Glass
Whitley Neil Quince Gin, Ginger Syrup, Champagne, Candy Corn, Edible Glitter

Bat, $17
Comes in take-away Skeleton Mug
Templeton Rye, Sour Apple Pucker, Cranberry, Caramel Drizzle

Jekyll and Hyde, $15
Comes in take-away Cauldron Mug
Agavales Reposado, Pumpkin Spice Liqueur, Ginger Beer

The Overlook $14
Comes in take-away Jack O Lantern Cup
Jameson, Cinnamon Simple, Apple Cider, Dash of Cinnamon Sugar and Fire

Maximum Overdrive, $14
Comes in take-away GhostCup

Vanilla Vodka, Dark Creme de Cacao, Cold Brew, Toasted Marshmallow and Graham Cracker Dust for garnish

Left Hand Pumpkin Spice Latte $9
12 Oz. Pumpkin Ale with Coffee, 7.0%

Three Floyds Zombie Dust, $7
12 oz. Pale Ale, 6.5%

Allagash Haunted House, $9
16 oz. Porter, 6.6%

Trick or Treat bag with old cans, $12
Two mystery beers for the daring drinkers

Miller Lite, $6
12 oz., 4.2%

White Claw Black Cherry, $6
12 oz. seltzer, 5.0%

Troegs Oktoberfest, $7
16. Marzen, 6.1%

Southern Tier Pumpking
10 oz. Imperial Pumpkin Ale, 8.6%

Dogfish Head Punkin
16 oz. Pumpkin Ale, 7.0%
Plus a Rotating IPA

Like Tinsel, the bar will feature selections in theme, and all cocktails with take-away souvenir vessels so you can never escape Philadelphia’s Nightmare. For the true-spirit seekers and adventurous, costumes are welcome and encouraged – but optional.

Nightmare Before Tinsel hours are Monday through Thursday, 4:00pm to 12:00am, Friday, 4:00pm to 2:00am, Saturday, 4:00pm to 2:00am and Sunday, 4:00pm to 12:00am to start.

Starting the Week of September 26th, hours will be Monday through Thursday, 4:00pm to 12:00am, Friday, 4:00pm to 2:00am, Saturday, 2:00pm to 2:00am and Sunday, 2:00pm to 12:00am.

For more information about Nightmare, visit www.nightmarebeforetinsel.com, and follow @TinselPhilly on social media.

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