Stranger Things have happened at Uptown Beer Garden… literally.
In 2022, the popular outdoor Center City destination is transforming to become the Upside Down from the popular Netflix show for the fall.
“After the instant success of Tinsel Christmas Pop-up Bar and Nightmare Before Tinsel, I always wanted to have a giant outdoor Halloween pop-up at Uptown Beer Garden,” explained Teddy Sourias, the venue’s owner along with Craft Concepts Group in a statement. “The theme was an easy choice, as our team at Craft Concepts Group are obsessed with the show. We engaged with local artists to really go for authentic pieces and go above and beyond anything we have ever done before.”
Open now, Philadelphians can head to Hawkins, Indiana, just by venturing to Center City. The space is now completely decked out with realistic props, scenes, art pieces, backdrops — and even the Surfer Boy Pizza Van — which in a very Philly fashion, already has a ticket from the PPA. And lead artists Zeneca Thompson and Jason Miller have been working on making the monsters from the series come to life.
Sourias added in a statement: “We’ve talked about creating a Demogorgon pretty much every year for Nightmare Before Tinsel, but never went for it because we were worried we couldn’t pull off something realistic enough. This year we were blessed with the opportunity to work with bona-fide horror and Halloween enthusiasts Zeneca and Jason, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results.”
Project Managers Alex Bokulich and Isabel Rosenberg additionally enlisted the help of other local artists to complete the designs, with Annemarie Branco, Scott Johnston, Meagan Macklin, Marc Andrew Tous and Caleb Lunke working on the decked out venue.
The space, however, isn’t the only part of the venue that has undergone some changes. On the cocktail menu, Philadelphians can look for ‘Stranger Things’-inspired libations and “potions”, plus there’s a brand new menu of hearty fall favorites from the kitchen.
Cocktail highlights include the Hellfire ($15, made with ghost blanco tequila, pear, simple syrup and sprite), Stay Gold ($16, made with whitley neill quince gin, lemon, apple simple and club), Redrum ($18, fosforo mezcal, cinnamon simple, sour mix, blackberry and dehydrated orange), Rotten Pumpkins (absolut vanilla, pumpkin sour liqueur and cold brew) and much more.
Fall menu items at the popular hotspot include tequila lime shrimp skewers, a crab cake sandwich, smoked chicken wings, a chicken parm sandwich, fried eggplant, Philly cheesesteak spring rolls and much more. A full list of offerings can be found on Uptown’s website
“Uptown Upside Down joins Nightmare Before Tinsel and our new Little Blume of Horrors as the city’s three premiere Halloween pop-up bars and attractions for spooky season,” finishes Sourias. “We can’t wait to see everyone out this October. And yes, Tinsel Christmas Pop-up Bar is already being built and U-Ville is definitely coming back – both with new designers, new art pieces and new surprises.”
Uptown Upside Down is now open Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight, Fridays 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight. Children and teenagers under 21 are welcome with a parent or guardian, except Fridays and Saturdays after 8 p.m. Admission to Uptown is free, with exceptions for special and private events. For info, visit uptownbeer.com and follow @uptownbeergarden on social media.