’Tis the season: Tinsel pop-up bar returns to Center City for Christmas in July

Tinsel in July

A stretch of 12th Street has been transformed into Philadelphia's "Tinsel Town." (Courtesy of Society Hill Films)

Christmas has come early in Philadelphia — pandemic and all — with the midsummer debut of a holiday-inspired pop-up bar.

Tinsel in July, spearheaded by Craft Concepts Group (CCG) and owner Teddy Sourias, is taking over part of 12th Street in Midtown Village.

The open-air Christmas eatery kicked off Friday in front of Finn McCools, Tinsel, the former Midtown and Penn Six, and Go Popcorn.

Originally billed as a 12-day affair, the pop-up will now be open through the end of August, or as interest remains.

Tinsel in July
Tinsel in July will be open until the end of August, or as interest remains, so that people don’t feel the need to rush down and pack the space. (Society Hill Films)

“Tinsel in July was designed to bring light, hope and joy to Philadelphia residents during these darker times,” Sourias said in a press release. “We wanted to remind everyone that better days are ahead and we all need to continue to work hard, mask up and see some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Patrons — surrounded by twinkling lights, oversized candy, and holiday decor — can enjoy a full dinner menu outside Finn’s. A mix of naughty and nice Christmas cocktails, including frozen mint “hot” chocolate and boozy Grinch pops, is also on tap. In a nod to frontline workers, Tinsel plans to feed hospital staff with a portion of sales from its Canned Goods cocktail.

Also featured in the reimagined outdoor space is a new sweet shop called Luka Ma, which will sell traditional Greek loukoumades, fried honey balls offered with eight toppings.

Tinsel, Finn McCools and Luku Ma are offering food and drink for pick-up and takeout as well. Full table service for parties of four to six is available outside Finn’s and Tinsel. Hours will run from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Tinsel in July
Tinsel in July’s seating area is lined with Christmas palm trees and north poles decorated with ribbon, garland and bells. (Society Hill Films)

Reservations are required for all full-service dinner tables to ensure time limits, to enforce social distancing and to avoid lines. To make a reservation, call Finn’s at 215-923-3090. Two-person seating at Luka Ma is first come, first serve.

Tinsel staff will follow all local, state and national coronavirus guidelines, including the enforcement of mandatory mask-wearing and offering disposable and digital menus, among other enhanced health and safety protocols.

All tables are socially distanced at least six feet apart, and all guests must wear a mask when not seated. “Otherwise,” CCG said, “they will make Santa’s naughty list and be asked to leave.”

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