Creators of Tinsel, Blume, Tradesman’s and Uptown Beer Garden announce the return of the Halloween pop-up with all new safety protocols and format for 2020
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. This year, during the global pandemic, the former spooky season pop-up bar will return as a socially distanced haunted restaurant with food, drink and art. Nightmare Before Tinsel will creak open its doors this Friday, October 2, 2020, at 4:00pm. Weekly hours are Monday through Friday, from 4:00pm to 11:00pm, and Saturday and Sunday, from 2:00pm to 11:00pm. Full table service for parties of four to six will be available for outdoor seating in a brand new and expansive haunted parklette and streetery. NIghtmare will also serve legal cocktails-to-go and food outside the front window. All guests must wear a mask when not seated. All tables are socially distanced at least six feet apart. Staff will follow all local, state and national health and safety recommendations including disposal menus, the use of a menu QR code, wiping down of all surfaces, wearing masks and other protocols in place for the safety of not just the patrons but the staff as well. Tickets are available for an introductory rate of $15 for the launch of Nightmare for the first week, and tickets after that will range from $15 to $20. Tickets include one food and one drink item. For more about Nightmare, visit @TinselPhilly on social media.
Come if you dare and 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 and Simpson’s past – look for eerie ambiance, scary photo opps, and tons of frights and flights. Halloween fans can find witches bru cocktails, seasonal fall beers, and other food and drink surprises too.
“Craft Concepts Group is ready to unleash nightmare again for Halloween – in a fun and frightful new way you don’t want to miss.” said Sourias. “After the success of Tinsel in July this past summer, and after perfecting our safety protocols, we wanted to bring back this concept in an entirely new way for 2020. We were getting a lot of requests and people want something positive and light-hearted to do and look forward to this October. Nightmare Before Tinsel and Tinsel have both become part of Philadelphia’s most beloved holiday traditions – and we are glad we could find a way to bring them back. For our staff, this also lets them have fun and get creative during this challenging year and time for restaurants. It also lets us bring more of our staff back after shut-downs earlier in the year.”
The former home of Simpson’s Jewelry, and the home of Tinsel Christmas Bar for the last three years, will be 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 Nightmare, Craft Concepts Group again tapped the talents of internal interior designer Anne White of AGW Interiors for specific interior and design elements, as well as local artist Scott Johntson. White is known for her work around Philadelphia with Tradesman’s, Tinsel, Blume and Leda and the Swan. Johnston is known for his work with Silk City Diner and Franky Bradly’s. Both worked with Sourias and his CCG team, along with other artists, to create an entirely new Nightmare experience for 2020.
NEW ASYLUM THEME
For the first time ever, Nightmare Before Tinsel will be transformed into a spooky asylum. Guests will enter (and socially distance) through a long, dark and decrepit corridor that will lead to the cobweb-infested patient intake area where you will prepare for your journey and get the law of the land.
Spooky fans will find themselves in a medical lab where doctors are using their patients for anatomy research. Try not to blink or you may find yourself surrounded by hallucinations of the asylum’s patients – and find yourself shipped off to the shock therapy ward.
During your “stay” you will witness doctors performing surgical ‘research’ on the convelscents. After the bodies have been fully explored, they are then wrapped up and hung to dry. Withering bodies hang overhead as you proceed further into the depths of the facility. High above, the children’s ward resides, housing the young demoniac. Don’t miss meeting one of the hospital’s most popular residents, Marg, who loves to share a tale or two of her beloved children who surround her day and night.
Unlike years past, photography and video are prohibited until you depart and find yourself at the selfie station. At no point is flash photography ever allowed in Tinsel’s asylum. Masks are also required even during selfies inside. Don’t make them call the warden on you for not following the rules! He’ll send you for “shock therapy” where you will find yourself surrounded by victims of extreme electrodes. Don’t miss a trip to the electric chair for a shocking good time. Sit at your own risk. Just when you think you’re free, pass by the walls of over 50 trapped inpatients, that are happy to lend you a hand, foot, leg or arm as you try to escape.
Stay tuned for other frights and sun and surprises. Nightmare is back and in a whole way.
BITES, FRIGHTS AND BREWS
From eerie ambiance to quirky cocktails, look for a full selection of exclusive and spirited cocktails and witches bru. All Tinsel Halloween-themed beverages will be featured at outdoor sidewalk and streetery seating on 12th Street, and at the brand-new restaurant opening up nearby in the next few weeks. For food to start, look for a collection of fall favorites, Tata’s Empanadas, plus local collaborations with local eateries including Snackadabra. In a few short weeks, look for even more food and drink options when CCG and Sourias open a brand new restaurant concept that will compliment Nightmare Before Tinsel.
Behind the bars and in the kitchens, look for your favorite bartenders from BRU, Tradesman’s, Blume, Finn McCools, Tinsel and Uptown Beer Garden rustling about the ruins 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. The opening Nightmare Before Tinsel menu feature the below summary and highlights:
Food offerings will include sweets and treats, a full menu of offerings from Finn McCool’s and special empanadas from Tata’s Empanadas (up to four varieties a day). Look for the full menu to launch at opening. For the full Finn McCool’s menu, visit their website and social media.
Blood Bag $16
faber orange vodka, red bull red edition, cranberry
Ecto Cooler Shot $10
crystal head vodka, midori, pineapple, gummi brain
manatawny maple whiskey, local apple cider, apple schnapps
bulleit bourbon, orange liqueur, maple cinnamon, orange bitters
Bucket of Blood $16
captain morgan, pineapple, pomegranate, orange, lime
Candy Corn $12
three bitches vodka, orange juice, lemon, candy corn
corralejo, orange liqueur, pomegranate, lime, jalapeño
The Fog $13
tanquerey, cider, champagne
Pumpkin Patch $14
pumpkin spice vodka, baileys irish cream, cold brew
templeton rye, campari, sweet vermouth
Ichabod Pumpkin Spice,16oz, Sir Charles Cider, semi-sweet cider, 7.0%
White, 16oz, Allagash Brewing Co., wheat, 5.0%
All Day IPA, 16oz, Founders Brewing Co., IPA, 4.7%
Deep Cut,16oz, Love City Brewing Co., pilsner, 5.0%
Two Robbers Ginger Pineapple, 12oz, hard seltzer, 5.2%
Barrier Kickin Knowledge, 16oz, 7%
Miller Light, 12oz, 4.2%
Prayers of a Sinner $9
Red blend and chardonnay
Nightmare Halloween Pop-up Bar hours weekly will be Monday through Thursday, 4:00pm to 11:00pm, and Friday through Sunday, 2:00pm to 11:00pm. 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, October 2, 2020, at 4:00pm. Come one, come all – if you dare.
CHANGES AND SAFETY
Nightmare Before Tinsel is set in the home of Tinsel Philadelphia’s Pop-up Christmas Bar. The former jewelry store turned rotating pop-up space will host a special socially-distanced version of Nightmare Before Tinsel during the global pandemic. For this year due to the global pandemic, Nightmare Before Tinsel will transition from being a Halloween pop-up bar to a social-distanced spooky season walk-through experience with themed drinks and food served outside at cafe seating and the newly built streetery, plus next door on either side at Sueno and Finn McCool’s.
For guest seating, parties of four and six can reserve socially distanced cafe seating ion front of Tinsel in the heart of the decorations. Reservations are available for full service dinner tables to ensure time limits, social distancing and to avoid any lines and ques. For reservations for these full service dinner tables call (215) 909-9406.
For health and safety, all patrons must wear masks unless they are at a table, with absolutely no exceptions. Additional safety protocols include staff temperature checks, the mandatory wearing of masks, socially distanced tables, new cleaning procedures, and other new systems.
“Don’t leave home for Nightmare Before Tinsel without your protective COVID19 mask,” said Sourias. “Masks are 100% required and the new normal for Tinsel and all of our Craft Concept Group properties.”
For more information about Nightmare, visit Facebook and Instagram for Nightmare Before Tinsel (@NightmareBeforeTinsel) or call (215) 909-9406.
Owner of Craft Concepts Group – Teddy Sourias
Interior Design – Anne White of AGW Interiors
Brand Identity – Jana Clavel
Custom Artwork – Scott Johnston
PR, Marketing and Social Media – Kory Aversa of Aversa PR
Cocktail Design -Alexis Alman
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 joins the ranks of Craft Concepts Group that now includes Tradesman’s, BRU Craft and Wurst, U-Bahn, Finn McCool’s Ale House and Uptown Beer Garden.
Simpson’s Jewelry was a family run, full service, jewelry store which was established in 1895.
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.
During the pandemic, Nightmare Before Tinsel will be back but as a walk-through Halloween attraction that requires face masks, social distancing and other safety and health protocols. Tinsel Philadelphia’s Christmas Pop-up Bar will return in November and December, with an updated format to be in line with local, state and national health and safety recommendations and requirements.
This year will be the first year that Tinsel popped up three times – for Christmas in July, Halloween and the Christmas Holidays. Stay tuned for plans for this coming holiday season and for 2021 and beyond.