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A hot cocktail served in a mug with holiday knickknacks arranged around the table.
A hot buttered rum from the Sippin’ Santa holiday pop-up at Shore Leave in the South End.
Randy Schmidt/Sippin’ Santa

Get In the Holiday Spirit at These Pop-Up Bars Around Boston

Brush off that Santa hat and start planning your bar crawl

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A hot buttered rum from the Sippin’ Santa holiday pop-up at Shore Leave in the South End.
| Randy Schmidt/Sippin’ Santa

‘Tis the season for that annual ritual where bars around town transform into holiday gathering spots with sparkly explosions of twinkle lights and holiday knickknacks. Here’s our guide to the area’s most festive pop-up bars, from Sippin’ Santa at Shore Leave in the South End to the Hanukkah-themed Maccabee Bar at Noir in Cambridge.

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Boston’s annual Hanukkah-themed pop-up bar, the Maccabee Bar, is back in action this year at Noir, the bar inside the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. Celebrate the holiday with themed cocktails (both alcoholic and non), latkes, and other small bites. The pop-up runs from November 29 through December 31. (Note: It is closed on Sundays except on December 10 for Hanukkah.) Reservations can be made by emailing noir@charleshotel.com; walk-ins are welcomed.

In Cambridge, Italian newcomer Gufo is starting off its first winter season strong by decking out its enclosed, heated outdoor patio to resemble a ‘70s-inspired ski lodge in the Italian Alps. Sip seasonal cocktails (both hot and cold), regional Italian wines, beer, or espresso drinks in the cozy setting while grazing on festive cookie platters, traditional Panettone (an Italian Christmas sweet bread), and dinner plates like baked gnocchi and an alpine pizza with prosciutto crema, potatoes, fontina, and rosemary. The pop-up is accepting walk-ins from Friday through Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m. It opens on December 1 and runs through December 31.

A cocktail in a whiskey glass with yellow twinkle lights arranged around it.
A cozy cocktail at Gufo’s holiday pop-up.
Gufo

The Revere Hotel

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The Revere Hotel in Downtown Boston is hosting “Festive Fridays” with a slate of fun holiday events every week through December. Each Friday, head to the bar for holiday-themed cocktails and a live DJ from 7 to 10 p.m., and participate in different festive activities each week, from a spiked hot chocolate bar to a holiday cocktail-making class. See the full lineup here.

A Christmas tree strung with lights and ribbons and festive couch pillows are visible in a hotel lobby.
The lobby at the Revere Hotel, decorated for the holidays.
The Revere Hotel

Mandarin Oriental

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Get a dose of boozy holiday cheer at the Notch Holiday Bar at the Mandarin Oriental in Back Bay. The glitzy cocktail and whiskey bar will be open and stocked with plenty of holiday-themed drinks on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 4 to 7 p.m, from December 1 to 30.

Loco Taqueria

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Loco’s Fenway outpost is transforming into “Santa’s Cantina” for the holiday season. Starting on Friday, December 1, and running through New Year’s, Loco is launching a holiday-themed bar menu featuring drinks like the Merry Merry, with cinnamon-infused tequila, and the Lo Fi Amaro, a sparkly red concoction made with edible glitter and decorated with a green sprinkle rim. (The bar menu is also available at Loco’s South Boston location.) The restaurant is also hosting a three-course, $55 holiday lunch with options like a chorizo and lobster chowder and tres leches cake available from Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., from November 29 to December 29.

A glittery dining room with lots of green, gold, and red baubles and ribbons and twinkle lights.
Loco Taqueria in Fenway is decked out for the holidays.
Mike Diskin/Loco Taqueria

Shore Leave

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The national holiday pop-up bar bonanza known as Sippin’ Santa is back at Shore Leave through New Year’s Eve. Sip on festive cocktails like the Ho Ho Hot Buttered Rum (a hot cocktail with rum, spiced honey butter, vanilla, and passion fruit) and the Holiday on Ice (vodka, dark-roast cold brew, condensed milk, ancho chile liqueur, and cinnamon syrup), and toss back a few Ginger Snapper shots (with rum, ginger, and macadamia nut liqueurs). Pair it all with some bites from Shore Leave’s sushi menu. The pop-up hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 p.m. until midnight, and Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. Reservations are available here.

Piles of Christmas lights hang from a bar room ceiling and a Santa figurine holding alcohol is placed on top of the bar.
Sippin’ Santa’s holiday pop-up bar at Shore Leave.
Reagan Byrne/Shore Leave

Publico Street Bistro & Garden

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Starting on Thursday, December 7, Publico’s interior courtyard (covered by a retractable roof) will be transformed into its annual winter-themed pop-up, the Lodge at Publico. The space is decked out to resemble a “high energy, ski chic chalet house party,” with alpine greenery, retro lighting, and plenty of shot-skis. Accompanying lodge-themed food includes mac and cheese in a mug and grilled cheese and creamy tomato bisque. The pop-up is open on Thursday and Sunday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. If you miss it this month, don’t worry: It’ll stick around until early March 2024.

The Venetian

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On the South Shore, Italian restaurant the Venetian (owned by Eric Papachristos, who is also behind Boston restaurants Trade, Porto, and Saloniki) has decked out its dining room with thousands of sparkly holiday ornaments and festive greenery. Grab a drink, eat, and hang out amid the holiday cheer any night of the week — it’s open for dinner nightly, plus lunch on weekends, and the decor will stay up through January 31.

Thousands of holiday ornaments and branches of greenery are strung from the ceiling inside a restaurant dining room.
The holiday pop-up decor at the Venetian.
The Venetian

Kimpton Marlowe Hotel

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The sparkly, jolly festivities are underway at Miracle at Marlowe, the hotel’s annual holiday pop-up cocktail bar. Get pictures with a six-foot Santa figure while sipping festive cocktails like the Carol Barrel (a whiskey, rum, and banana liqueur concoction served in a tiny barrel-shaped mug) and downing naughty or nice shots.

Two barrel-shaped mugs filled with cocktails sit against a festive background.
The Carol Barrel.
Melissa Hom/Miracle Pop-Up

Noir

Boston’s annual Hanukkah-themed pop-up bar, the Maccabee Bar, is back in action this year at Noir, the bar inside the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. Celebrate the holiday with themed cocktails (both alcoholic and non), latkes, and other small bites. The pop-up runs from November 29 through December 31. (Note: It is closed on Sundays except on December 10 for Hanukkah.) Reservations can be made by emailing noir@charleshotel.com; walk-ins are welcomed.

Gufo

In Cambridge, Italian newcomer Gufo is starting off its first winter season strong by decking out its enclosed, heated outdoor patio to resemble a ‘70s-inspired ski lodge in the Italian Alps. Sip seasonal cocktails (both hot and cold), regional Italian wines, beer, or espresso drinks in the cozy setting while grazing on festive cookie platters, traditional Panettone (an Italian Christmas sweet bread), and dinner plates like baked gnocchi and an alpine pizza with prosciutto crema, potatoes, fontina, and rosemary. The pop-up is accepting walk-ins from Friday through Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m. It opens on December 1 and runs through December 31.

A cocktail in a whiskey glass with yellow twinkle lights arranged around it.
A cozy cocktail at Gufo’s holiday pop-up.
Gufo

The Revere Hotel

The Revere Hotel in Downtown Boston is hosting “Festive Fridays” with a slate of fun holiday events every week through December. Each Friday, head to the bar for holiday-themed cocktails and a live DJ from 7 to 10 p.m., and participate in different festive activities each week, from a spiked hot chocolate bar to a holiday cocktail-making class. See the full lineup here.

A Christmas tree strung with lights and ribbons and festive couch pillows are visible in a hotel lobby.
The lobby at the Revere Hotel, decorated for the holidays.
The Revere Hotel

Mandarin Oriental

Get a dose of boozy holiday cheer at the Notch Holiday Bar at the Mandarin Oriental in Back Bay. The glitzy cocktail and whiskey bar will be open and stocked with plenty of holiday-themed drinks on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 4 to 7 p.m, from December 1 to 30.

Loco Taqueria

Loco’s Fenway outpost is transforming into “Santa’s Cantina” for the holiday season. Starting on Friday, December 1, and running through New Year’s, Loco is launching a holiday-themed bar menu featuring drinks like the Merry Merry, with cinnamon-infused tequila, and the Lo Fi Amaro, a sparkly red concoction made with edible glitter and decorated with a green sprinkle rim. (The bar menu is also available at Loco’s South Boston location.) The restaurant is also hosting a three-course, $55 holiday lunch with options like a chorizo and lobster chowder and tres leches cake available from Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., from November 29 to December 29.

A glittery dining room with lots of green, gold, and red baubles and ribbons and twinkle lights.
Loco Taqueria in Fenway is decked out for the holidays.
Mike Diskin/Loco Taqueria

Shore Leave

The national holiday pop-up bar bonanza known as Sippin’ Santa is back at Shore Leave through New Year’s Eve. Sip on festive cocktails like the Ho Ho Hot Buttered Rum (a hot cocktail with rum, spiced honey butter, vanilla, and passion fruit) and the Holiday on Ice (vodka, dark-roast cold brew, condensed milk, ancho chile liqueur, and cinnamon syrup), and toss back a few Ginger Snapper shots (with rum, ginger, and macadamia nut liqueurs). Pair it all with some bites from Shore Leave’s sushi menu. The pop-up hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 p.m. until midnight, and Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. Reservations are available here.

Piles of Christmas lights hang from a bar room ceiling and a Santa figurine holding alcohol is placed on top of the bar.
Sippin’ Santa’s holiday pop-up bar at Shore Leave.
Reagan Byrne/Shore Leave

Publico Street Bistro & Garden

Starting on Thursday, December 7, Publico’s interior courtyard (covered by a retractable roof) will be transformed into its annual winter-themed pop-up, the Lodge at Publico. The space is decked out to resemble a “high energy, ski chic chalet house party,” with alpine greenery, retro lighting, and plenty of shot-skis. Accompanying lodge-themed food includes mac and cheese in a mug and grilled cheese and creamy tomato bisque. The pop-up is open on Thursday and Sunday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. If you miss it this month, don’t worry: It’ll stick around until early March 2024.

The Venetian

On the South Shore, Italian restaurant the Venetian (owned by Eric Papachristos, who is also behind Boston restaurants Trade, Porto, and Saloniki) has decked out its dining room with thousands of sparkly holiday ornaments and festive greenery. Grab a drink, eat, and hang out amid the holiday cheer any night of the week — it’s open for dinner nightly, plus lunch on weekends, and the decor will stay up through January 31.

Thousands of holiday ornaments and branches of greenery are strung from the ceiling inside a restaurant dining room.
The holiday pop-up decor at the Venetian.
The Venetian

Kimpton Marlowe Hotel

The sparkly, jolly festivities are underway at Miracle at Marlowe, the hotel’s annual holiday pop-up cocktail bar. Get pictures with a six-foot Santa figure while sipping festive cocktails like the Carol Barrel (a whiskey, rum, and banana liqueur concoction served in a tiny barrel-shaped mug) and downing naughty or nice shots.

Two barrel-shaped mugs filled with cocktails sit against a festive background.
The Carol Barrel.
Melissa Hom/Miracle Pop-Up

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