By Kevin Collison
The Crossroads Hotel is celebrating the end of its first full year of operation by joining the downtown holiday pop-up bar trend pioneered by Rockhill Grille last year.
“We were looking for something to do to create a ton of energy and fun,” said Jeremy Bennett, the hotel lifestyle director. “We wanted to go over the top with Christmas decorations and build a bar in the closet.”
The ‘closet’ is storage space for the art gallery at the hotel. It’s been transformed into what’s being called “The Toy Shop” and is featuring specially concocted drinks including Naughty or Spice, Father Christmas and the Flannel Shirt.
The Crossroads Hotel holiday pop-up is only a few blocks away from the return of the Rockhill Grille’s “Miracle at Rockhille” located on the second floor of the restaurant at 20th and Grand.
Miracle premiered the national holiday pop-up trend in Kansas City a year ago and attracted more than 9,000 people its first holiday season run.
“We had no idea it would that popular,” said Rockhill manager Kandis Thurman.
“Quite a few employees didn’t want to work it, they didn’t think they’d make much money. It was so popular that now everybody wants to work up there.”
The first Miracle at Rockhill went so well the owners have opened a second Miracle this season in the former Oliver’s restaurant space at the Country Club Plaza. Also joining the holiday pop-up party is ‘Sippin’ Santa’ at the Julep bar in Westport.
Rockhill’s Miracle experienced long lines last year to get inside, and in response, the holiday pop-up is offering an opportunity for people to reserve a limited number of tables at both locations for $17.50- to $25.
“This year, we’re trying to do things a little different so people can skip the line and do a more VIP thing,” Thurman said. “You can still get in line for the event though, and its only for a select number of tables.”
The Rockhill Miracle started on Black Friday and runs until New Year’s Day. The hours are 4 p.m. to midnight, Mondays through Fridays, and 3 p.m. to midnight Saturdays and Sundays.
At the Crossroads Hotel, The Toy Shop pop-up flows into the hotel’s art gallery, which features café tables and an over-the-top holiday “altar” installation designed by artist and DJ James Trotter.
“Besides the fact it’s a ton of fun and we love Christmas decorations, we were looking for a way to engage the art gallery,” Bennett said.
The cocktails feature spirits from Tom’s Town including smoked bourbon and candy cane-infused vodka.
“There’s some true bartending skills in each of the drinks,” Bennett said. ” They’re tons of fun. One even has sparkling glitter in it.”
The Toy Shop hours are Mondays through Fridays from 4 p.m. to close, and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to close. The Toy Shop holiday pop-up will last until Dec. 28.
(Editor’s note: Beginning Dec. 2, CityScene KC has become a paid subscription publication)
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