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Wilmington’s Christmas-Themed Pop-Up Bar Returns for Another Season

Photo by Meg Ryan

Blitzen in downtown Wilmington will look different this year with more space and COVID-19 precautions, but the same holiday cheer.

A little Christmas cheer is on the way, Wilmington.

Blitzen, located at 220 W. 9th St. in Wilmington, will be reopening for the holidays on Wednesday, Nov. 11. The cocktail bar will be reimagined this year, utilizing more commercial space and an outdoor patio for guests to enjoy while abiding by COVID-19 precautions.

The brainchild of creative director Dallas Shaw, she and the rest of the team have worked day and night to transform the last year’s space, an additional next-door area and a back patio into Blitzen the reindeer’s home.

Photo by Meg Ryan

“We’ve been on a 14-day turnaround not only brushing up last year’s Blitzen, but retelling the story that we wanted to tell and doing two additional rooms,” she says.

Shaw says they always knew the pop-up bar would come back for a second season, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, 9th Street construction and remodeling delays to Girard Craft & Cork and Faire Market & Cafe—which are also spaces owned by Rob Snowberger—it wasn’t determined until the last minute that it could become a reality.

The updated cocktail bar, called Blitzen Unreigned, will feature a larger space with an outdoor section filled with firepits and heat lamps. Shaw scoured second-hand shops and auctions to find the right pieces for the space.

Photo by Meg Ryan

“You get to come into [Blitzen’s] house a bit further,” she says.

This time around, Shaw had the opportunity to tell more of Blitzen’s story with more rooms and a stronger vision of her design concept. Guests will be able to get a glimpse of the reindeer’s library, his preparations for the holiday and his admiration for Mrs. Claus.

Shaw has filled the space with antique items, personalized Blitzen decor and more.

“If you were to take a peek around, there’s a larger story happening,” she explains.

Blitzen’s cocktail menu will stay the same as last years with themed drinks named Moose Milk, Santa’s Cough Syrup and Resting Blitz Face. A new cocktail will be added to the list with flavors of toasted marshmallow. Beer and wine lists will also be available.

Photo by Meg Ryan

The food menu, which last year was created by Stitch House Brewery, will be updated.

Customers will also be able to purchase Blitzen merchandise like flannel shirts and cozy blankets.

As for the COVID-19 precautions, patrons will see more tables for parties to sit at while eating or drinking. High sanitation procedures and masks will be the norm. Reservations will not be required, and Shaw says she hopes to see groups come in to enjoy the pop-up. The new larger space will hold the same capacity the smaller space did last year, allowing for social distancing.

“We don’t want people to have to reserve so we’re going to open and hope that you don’t have to,” she says.

Photo by Meg Ryan

Private events are also welcome. Shaw says you can reserve one room of the space or multiple tables.

Blitzen will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight through Dec. 24. It will reopen on Dec. 31 for a one-night-only ticketed New Year’s Eve bash.

“And then we’ll be done…until next year,” Shaw adds.

Blitzen • 220 W. 9th St., Wilmington • facebook.com/blitzenthebar

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