Pittsburgh’s pop-up holiday bar is back for a second year — with a new location and new festive cocktails.
Though there are some changes, the holiday cheer remains, said Spencer Warren, owner of Miracle on Market, which is one of 50 such pop-ups across the world.
Here’s what to expect from the mega-popular Pittsburgh Miracle.
A new, historic location
The bar is called Miracle on Market to signify its new location in Market Square, where it will be perched on the third floor of The Original Oyster House. Last year, Miracle on Liberty popped up in a Liberty Avenue storefront.
The Miracle crew could have taken the easy route and built the pop-up from the shell of an existing bar, but instead they’re building the bar from scratch in a space normally used as a dining room.
At 146 years old, The Oyster House is the oldest bar and restaurant in the city, so if you’ve never been there, here’s your opportunity to check it off your Pittsburgh bucket list.
Plus, being situated in the heart of Downtown next to the Market Square Holiday Market will add “a whole new element,” Warren said.
You’ll see some beverages quite similar to last year’s menu with a few tweaks, along with some brand new options and a few oft-changing featured drinks. Cocktails run $12 apiece.
“We do high-quality cocktails with everything made from scratch,” Warren said.
Choose from a list of 10 cocktails with names like Run Run Rudolph, Muletide, You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out and How The Gimlet Stole Christmas. Two shots are on the menu, too: The Nice Shot (rum, peppermint and chocolate) and the Naughty Shot (bourbon and cinnamon).
Food, not just drinks
The pop-up is presented in collaboration with the The Oyster House, so you can order food from the historic restaurant.
Expect a pared-down bar food menu from The Oyster House, known for its fish sandwiches.
Staff will continue to decorate until the doors open on Black Friday, adorning the space with upside down Christmas trees, wrapping paper on the ceiling, lights, ornaments, festive glassware, a Hanukkah Hideaway and a Krampus Corner.
“The best description is it looks like Christmas threw up everywhere,” Warren said. “Anything holiday thing you can think of. … A lot it is donated by people — our regulars, our friends and family.”
You’re gonna need photos from this bar in your Instagram feed.
A good cause
Your bill benefits 412 Food Rescue, which has saved nearly 2 million pounds of food from going to waste in Allegheny County by distributing it to communities in need since launching in 2015.
Last year, the bar raised $5,000 for 412 Food Rescue, and this year Warren wants to double that amount.
The bartenders volunteer and work for tips, so, as always, *tip your bartender.*
“We have a lot of bartenders throughout the season who are all going to help out,” Warren said, including guest bartenders from throughout the city.
Look for Who’s Nexters Nicole Battle and Carrie Clayton, Giuseppe Capolupo, RaeLynn Gigler, Warren (of course), and many more bartenders you’ll recognize slinging drinks.
Yes, there will be a line
In its first year, patrons lined up around the block, braving the elements for a spot at the Miracle on Liberty bar.
The Oyster House, though, offers a larger space, which could mean good news if you’re not a fan of waiting in the freezing cold for a cold drink.
“I expect to see lines but it’s also a bigger space, so that’ll help alleviate some of that,” Warren said. “They have an outdoor area, and we’ll have heaters.”
A limited-time offer
The biggest complaint the Miracle team has heard: People are upset they missed it. Don’t be like those people!
The bar’s open from 4 p.m. until midnight (or longer if there’s a crowd) every single night from Black Friday until New Year’s Eve.
Yes, every single night — even Sundays, Mondays, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
There are some serious “Elf” vibes at Miracle on Market.
Christmas music and holiday tunes are on repeat, of course, so get ready to hum along to your faves. (The bar also plays ’50s and ’60s rockabilly tunes to mix it up, too.)
The energy of Miracle is what makes it so special — and why Warren happily works 12-hour day after 12-hour day behind the scenes.
“Everyone who comes in is always happy,” Warren said. “There is never anyone in a bad mood.”