Cheers To The Most Festive Holiday Bar Pop Ups

December 5, 2023
Blitzen's on Bagley decorated bar

Photo courtesy of Blitzen's on Bagley

The holiday season in Metro Detroit is not just about twinkling lights and shopping; it’s also a time when local bars transform into merry establishments, offering a unique blend of festive cocktails and cheerful decor. This year, the city’s most beloved bars have outdone themselves, creating pop-up experiences that are sure to make your holiday season memorable. Here’s a roundup of must-visit holiday pop-up bars in Metro Detroit that deliver Christmas cheer.


201 West Nine Mile Road, Ferndale

The Oakland is a Ferndale favorite, especially since the space is transformed every holiday season. From now until December 30, the Miracle at The Oakland pop-up bar is available for anyone to stop in and enjoy. The all-out Christmas decor and selection of specialty holiday-themed drinks are sure to put a smile on the faces of those who decide to take a peek inside. You can expect this neighborhood craft cocktail bar’s menu to include drinks like the Christmas Cricket, with blanco tequila, vanilla liqueur, minty amaro, coco pandan, cream, and mole bitters, and Marshmallows & Unicorns, which is made with gin, vanilla liqueur, velvet falernum, cherry liqueur, cardamom, black pepper, marshmallow, lemon, egg white, tiki bitters, and soda.  

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The Oakland Miracle pop up bar decorated with lights and hanging gifts
Photo courtesy of The Oakland


2929 East Grand Boulevard, Detroit

The Oakland’s sister bar Dragonfly is also hosting a Miracle pop-up! Dragonfly stands out as a colorful and casual cocktail bar located at the corner of Beaubien and East Grand Boulevard. Known for its modern cocktails and warm hospitality, as highlighted by owner Sandy Levine, Dragonfly adds a creative twist to the holiday celebrations with its interesting flavor combinations. It’s a spot where cheer and creativity meet. You can find a similar menu, with cocktails like Carrol Barrel, with Irish whiskey, banana liqueur, Jamaican navy strength rum, Guinness punch, lime, aromatic and chocolate bitters, and nutmeg, and a Snowball Old-Fashioned, made with rye whiskey, gingerbread, aromatic and wormwood bitters, and an orange essence. Additionally, Dragonfly has a dessert menu with items like sticky toffee pudding and white chocolate peppermint brûlée.

Snowball old-fashioned from Miracle pop up at Dragonfly
Photo courtesy of Dragonfly


1234 The Belt, Detroit

The Sippin’ Santa pop-up bar is back at The Skip, spreading Christmas joy all throughout Downtown Detroit. This year’s menu boasts the North Pole Bowl,  Holiday On Ice, Ho Ho Hot Buttered Rum, Sippin’ Santa, and more, all served in festive mugs and glasses that are also available for purchase. Now through December 31st, take a trip to The Belt and stop in at this holiday haven, complete with seasonal decor and all of the festive vibes. 


2545 Bagley Street, Detroit

Blizten’s on Bagley is a must-visit for anyone looking to dive into a holiday adventure. Described by owner Christine Driscoll as “Detroit’s Holiday Tavern,” this pop-up bar overflows with joyous vibes. With more than twice the space for guests this year, Blitzen’s offers a range of merry cocktails like the Grinch Punch with vodka, lime, and pineapple juice, and Very Merry Marg, with tequila, house sour, strawberry, and lime, along with non-alcoholic options such as Eggnog and Hot Cocoa, which you can also get spiked. It’s a family-friendly spot before 8 p.m., making it perfect for all ages.

Blitzen's on Bagley holiday pop up bar
Photo courtesy of Blitzen’s on Bagley


316 South Main Street, Royal Oak

Jingle all the way at the Jingle pop-up bar at Ale Mary’s. From now until January 2nd, surround yourself with a beautiful display of Christmas lights and walls covered in wrapping paper, or grab a heated igloo outside. While you’re there, order one (or a few) of the specialty holiday drinks, all served in Christmas mugs. Owner Nick Ritts tells us, “Jingle, a Christmas popup at Ale Mary’s is one of my favorite events we do. It gives people a reason to get together and spread Christmas cheer,” and we couldn’t agree more!

heated igloos with christmas lights outside of the jingle at ale mary's
Photo courtesy of Jingle at Ale Mary’s


3019 Biddle Avenue, Wyandotte

From November 24th to January 8th, The Iron Gate is transformed into a festive space, complete with holiday-themed cocktails and food. Troy Magier, general manager, shares, “The Iron Gate is a cocktail bar with vibrant cocktails and elevated shared plates. Reservations are highly recommended on the weekends and can be made on our website.” Some of the drinks featured include the Mele Kalikimaka, which is made from plantation pineapple, lime, cinnamon, pineapple juice, and banana liqueur, and the Red Ryder BB Gun, with vodka, fig, elderflower, cranberry, and lime. There is also an extensive menu with small bites, larger plates, sweets, shots, and more. 

red ryder bb gun cocktail from the iron gate's pop up bar
Photo courtesy of The Iron Gate

This article has been updated to include new information. The original article was published on December 14, 2022, and was authored by Briana Dixon.