Barrel Proof and Longway Host Christmas ‘Miracle’ Pop-Up
NEW ORLEANS – “Pop-up” cocktail bars have been popping up everywhere … and then sticking around.
There have been cocktail events inspired by “Stranger Things” and “Star Wars.” Tiki “takeovers” are mainstays in cities around the world (including New Orleans). And most famous of them all is the Christmas-themed “Miracle” pop-up, which was created by New York City bar owner Greg Boehm in 2014 and has now spread to more than a hundred locations around the world.
LeBlanc+Smith – the local restaurateurs responsible for Sylvain, Meauxbar, Barrel Proof, Cavan and Longway – are the first to bring Miracle to New Orleans. Through Dec. 31, revelers can stop in at Barrel Proof (1201 Magazine St.) or Longway (719 Toulouse St.) to try drinks with names like “Christmapolitan,” “Bad Santa” and “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F*****r” while taking in the kitschy holiday decorations and soaking up the holiday spirit.
Like the other bar operators who have brought Miracle to their customers, LeBlanc+Smith licensed the rights to the official drink menu and bought all the drink ingredients, custom glassware, decorations and other supplies needed to make holiday magic.
“They create all the recipes including how we batch all of our cocktails and they source all of the drinkware, so across the country all 100 plus miracles have the same recipes, the same garnishes, the same cupware,” said Tara Treffry, the vice president of marketing and operations at LeBlanc+Smith. “Then we customized the decor to fit in with the aesthetic of Barrel Proof and Longway.”
Treffry said the New Orleans debut has been a smash success. LeBlanc+Smith covered the cost of their investment after a few days of being open.
“We’re overwhelmed by the number of people who have come to experience Miracle with us,” said Treffry. “Everyone’s really into the festive lights, the music and the cocktails have been a total hit.”
There have, of course, been a few challenges along the way. The order of glassware and supplies got delayed during shipping so Treffry and her team rented a U-Haul moving truck and picked everything up themselves from the Fedex facility in St. Rose the day before they were due to open. They only had a few hours to wash all the glassware and get ready to go.
The other big problem?
“Everyone steals the glassware so we’re constantly re-ordering,” said Treffry. “This year’s new glass, the ‘Santa Rex,’ is officially extinct … all 48 of ours were stolen in the first two weeks. All the other glassware you can re-order but they ran out of the Santa Rex. …”
Barrel Proof hours are from 4 p.m. to 12 p.m. daily through Dec. 31. Longway’s hours are from 4 p.m. to close (at least midnight, often later) Monday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to close Friday through Sunday through. Both locations closed on Christmas Day. Reservations are available through Open Table for Longway; walk-ins are always welcome at both.
Already tried “Miracle”? Another holiday-themed, pop-up bar option: check out “Christmas at Barcadia,” a holiday pop-up that has taken over 601 Tchoupitoulas Street until Jan. 5. Highlights of this locally produced event include holiday décor designed by Carl Mack, a free Christmas mug with the purchase of any of the nine Christmas-themed cocktails on the holiday menu and family-friendly activities like arcade games and opportunities for festive photos. Under 21 are allowed in until 9 p.m.