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Words by Jonny Grave, Photos by Nicholas Karlin

Just in time for the unseasonably warm weather, Mockingbird Hill and Southern Efficiency have changed out of their Stranger Things getup, and into something far more beautiful, and far more ridiculous.

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In the spirit of Cherry Blossom season, Mockingbird Hill seems to have grown its own set of trees right out of its walls. The mural on in the back is a Maggie O’Neill print, and the varying shades of blossom branches were assembled by the staff. Everyone put in overtime for the decoration efforts here. The result is stately, elegant, while still completely over-the-top. It’s like drinking in a Baz Luhrmann film.

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Over the threshold, Southern Efficiency has taken a more pop culture-oriented avenue for an homage to the Cherry Blossom Festival; Mario. The windows feature a pair of hand-painted Power Stars, the back wall is a surprisingly detailed LEGO mural of a Super Mario World level, and the ceiling has automated piranha flowers emerging from their boxes. The attention to nuance is staggering. It is ridiculous, and my inner Nintendo disciple feels right at home.

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Looking from the decorations, and down to the menu, the cocktails are much in the same spirit as the rest of the bar. The sake and Chartreuse “I Call Yoshi!”, and the Green Hat gin with Luxardo maraschino “Prepare for Destiny! Where’s My Pizza?” both stand out as delicious favorites.

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Whether you’re looking to escape the frustrating start-stop of spring, or you’re hoping to escape the throngs of Cherry Blossom tourists, the Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar is a phenomenal spot.

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