Photos by Clarissa Villondo, words by Kaylee Dugan
Let’s start with the one piece of bad news, the dinosaur manger, our favorite part of last years Miracle on 7th Street, is gone. In its place is three Christmas bars that reflect the different personalities of Derek Brown’s establishments and the holiday itself. Mockingbird Hill has been transformed into a majestic Icelandic landscape with narwhals galore, Southern Efficiency conjures your classical Christmas iconography (but with more goats), and Eat the Rich is a love letter to everyone’s favorite Netflix show, Stranger Things.
It should come as no surprise that Derek Brown and Angie Fetherson’s team has executed the ideas to perfection. Eggo waffles adorn the back bar of Eat the Rich, and occasionally throughout the night, things get spooky and the Christmas lights flicker. Southern Efficiency is plastered with large, gorgeous images of goats wearing sweaters. And the Icelandic phrases written behind Mockingbird Hill’s bar has a special message for those of you sober enough to read. Like last year, it’s the smaller touches, the Clark Griswold themed wallpaper and the St. Barb portrait that end up plastered all over Instagram, and encourage people to brave the line.
Of course, the cocktails are as meticulously planned as the space. Drawing from traditional Christmas flavors, as well as bar manager Paul Taylor’s own holiday memories. There are drinks that scream Christmas, like Snow Angels, Ice Skating, Cookie Dough and Snuggles, which tastes exactly like drinking liquified cookie dough and even comes with a cookie dough garnish. Then there are slightly more subtle drinks, Put On a Yarmulke is sweet, citrusy, and boozy without being over the top. Brown has also made sure there is a real eggnog recipe on the menu, which should win over those who have only ever had the drink poured from a carton.
If you need a little sustenance to go along with your drinking, something to warm you up after waiting outside, the food is killer. The chicken noodle soup we ordered may be the best version of that soup we’ve ever had.
After an especially tough year, Brown’s team has bottled up something contagiously fun. A place where friends can gather and bask in the holiday spirit. No matter how long you wait in line, it’s impossible to be sad once you’re surrounded by cute goats, magical narwhals, or the soundtrack of your favorite show.
“This was a shitty year,” says Brown. “Who doesn’t want to put 2016 to bed? Hopefully this can be a nice end to a bad year.”
If there’s any better place to ride out the end of the emotional roller coaster that was 2016, I can’t imagine it.
Miracle on 7th Street is open through New Years Eve from 5 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 5 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday. They are closed on Christmas Day.