Oct 5, 2021 - Things to Do
Philadelphia Halloween pop-up bar Nightmare Before Tinsel is back
Patrons milling around the inside of the Nightmare Before Tinsel. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios
Patrons milling around the inside of the Nightmare Before Tinsel. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios

October has arrived — and Halloween haunts are well underway in the city.

  • I recently checked out the spooky pop-up bar downtown, Nightmare Before Tinsel.

What I tried: The Blood Bag, which mixes Espolon Blanco tequila with orange liqueur, cranberry juice and Red Bull — and yes, it's served in a blood bag. If you go, I'd recommend this punch-like one to try.

Blood Bags at Nightmare Before Tinsel. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios
Blood Bags at Nightmare Before Tinsel. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios

I also ordered the Pumpkin Brew, which included Pinnacle Pumpkin Spice, Bailey’s Irish Cream and cold brew coffee.

  • But don't be like me. This is a literal bucket, and it's pretty strong. Better for sharing.
A draft beer and a Pumpkin Brew at Nightmare Before Tinsel. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios
A draft beer and a Pumpkin Brew at Nightmare Before Tinsel. Photo: Taylor Allen/Axios

The bar, which is from the same folks behind Christmas pop-up Tinsel, is the place for festive pictures.

  • Local artist Scott Johnston decked the pop-up out in a collection of murals and art, featuring recognizable characters, such as Pennywise the clown from "It" and Jack Torrence from "The Shining."
  • There's also a fake electric chair.
  • Customers are encouraged to sign their names or write any message on the walls. It glows in the dark!

The bottom line: This is a great place to start your night and then head out elsewhere if you want to dance.

Visit: The pop-up is located in the storefront of the former Simpson's Jewelry at 116 S 12th St.

  • Open: Monday-Friday from 4pm-2am and Saturday-Sunday from 2pm-2am.

Of note: Tinsel will open in the same spot later this year.

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