Christmas for grown-ups

Eric Simpkins and Darren Carr present Miracle on Monroe, a holiday-themed pop-up bar at Midtown’s Tapa Tapa

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Thanksgiving has officially come and gone, and now, it’s beginning to look a lot like…cocktails. Mixologist Eric Simpkins and entrepreneur Darren Carr of Big Citizen — the hospitality group behind the Lawrence and the up-and-coming Bon Ton Boil House — have teamed up to bring a new kind of celebration to our fair city this holiday season. They’re calling it “Miracle On Monroe: Atlanta’s first Christmas pop-up cocktail experience.”

Based on the popular Miracle On 9th Street concept, started by Cocktail Kingdom’s Greg Boehm in New York City in 2014, the pop-up has since expanded to 30 other cities, including Charleston, London, and Paris. This is the first year it’s come to Atlanta.

“The reason I am doing this is quite simple — because I love Christmas,” Simpkins told CL by email. “The creators of the concept are old friends, and when they approached me to help them find an operator to bring the Miracle concept to Atlanta, well, I knew we had to do it.”

Beginning today and running through Christmas Eve, Miracle on Monroe will transform Midtown Promenade’s Tapa Tapa into a holiday wonderland, kitted out with tinsel, an open fire, holiday movies, and plenty of Christmas tunes to set the mood. A crew of local pastry chefs and bartenders will assist in hosting a series of events each day of the week: holiday movies on Wednesdays, local mixologists stirring drinks inspired by their favorite Christmas albums on Thursdays, “Cookie Hour” featuring free cookies on Fridays, tacky sweater contests on Saturdays, and choir performances on Sundays. Mondays and Tuesdays are closed to the public, but available for private buyouts.

Meanwhile, the pop-up’s holiday-themed cocktail menu promises to bring all the Christmas cheer(s). There’s a Santa-quila with cacao nib infused tequila, maple syrup, and black walnut bitters; a Christmopolitan with vodka, spiced cranberry sauce, and fig bitters; and Jingle Bell Nog with brown butter fat-washed cognac, almond milk, and nutmeg, to name just a few. 

“Darren and I often talk about the fun we had creating epicurean spectacles through Dinner Party Atlanta, before the Lawrence,” explained Simpkins. “We hope to create an enduring annual Christmas tradition for adults to celebrate the season.”

Miracle On Monroe. Free. Wed., Thurs., Sun., 6 p.m.- 12 a.m. Fri. & Sat. 6 p.m.- 1 a.m. Nov. 25 - Dec. 24. Tapa Tapa. 931 Monroe Drive N.E.

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