Christmas-Themed Pop-Up Bar Opens in Downtown Wilmington
Blitzen brings holiday cheer to the city for a limited time.
Blitzen, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar, will be open in downtown Wilmington through the end of the year./Photo by Meg Ryan
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Raise those jingle bells—Delawareans can now step inside Blitzen the reindeer’s world without leaving the First State.
A new Christmas-themed pop-up bar named after Santa's loyal steed recently opened in downtown Wilmington on Thursday, Nov. 7. Created from the mind of fashion illustrator Dallas Shaw, Blitzen offers a food and cocktail menu created by Stitch House Brewery (which will be prepared next door to the bar at Faire Market & Café), and will be open every Wednesday through Saturday through the end of 2019.
Located at 220 W. 9th St., the bar is steps away from Market Street and brings another nightlife opportunity to the city for a limited time. After the holiday pop-up closes, the space will likely be turned into a permanent restaurant concept, said Rebecca Parsons, director of operations.
Fashion illustrator Dallas Shaw helped design the space./Photo by Meg Ryan
Shaw is a fashion illustrator and author with art direction experience working with New York companies. As a Delaware resident for the past 10 years, she wanted to do a design concept in the First State, but was waiting for the perfect opportunity to come along. When the time was right, she asked her friends who own the building if they’d be interested in turning it into a themed bar.
Blitzen was put together in just two and a half weeks./
“A pop-up bar is so fun,” she said.
Shaw had complete control over the design and concept which she called “a designer’s dream.” The shocking part? Shaw and her little helpers put together Blitzen in two and a half weeks.
Looking around the bar, guests will see plenty of decorated Christmas trees, tinsel and reindeer art. Shaw, a storyteller at heart, wants people to feel like they stepped into Blitzen’s den and see how he relaxes, spends time with friends and pays homage (or dislike) toward his other reindeer friends.
Shaw is proud of the end product and feels Blitzen stands up against various pop-up bars around the country.
“We feel this not only compares but if not is a better design concept,” she said.
As for the menu, Shaw describes it as upscale bar/restaurant food. Guests can choose from pork belly poutine, blackened chicken quesadilla, pineapple ham sandwich, holidaze sandwich and a black bean burrito.
The menu is a nod at Christmas and Thanksgiving, Parsons said, with its use of turkey, cranberry sauce, pork lardon and other comfort food ingredients.
For cocktails, get in the spirit will themed drinks with names like Moose Milk, Santa’s Cough Syrup and Resting Blitz Face. Beer and wine lists will also be available. Expect plenty of holiday brews, Parsons said.
Shaw and Parsons said the response even before opening Blitzen has been amazing as people walking by stop and peer in, and sometimes even helped with the decorations.
“Everyone wants to be a part of it, so that’s been so cool,” Shaw said.
Shaw feels that the design stands up against pop-ups around the country./Photo by Meg Ryan
Shaw and Parsons hope to see regular customers at Blitzen throughout the holiday season. The bar is a place for anyone to enjoy, either for happy hour, a holiday party or just drinks with a friend.
Christmas pajamas are also welcome, but not required.
“It’s a bar for everyone,” Parsons said.
220 W. 9th St., Wilmington
Open Wednesday through Saturday until the end of 2019