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An ‘It's a Wonderful Life’ pop-up bar is coming to Berwyn in December

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

With Thanksgiving approaching, it's nearly time for tree lighting ceremonies, ice skating, holiday markets and your annual viewing of the classic 1946 film, It's A Wonderful Life. Once you've revisited the cinematic depiction of Bedford Falls, you'll be able to have a drink in a pop-up bar that seeks to recreate the film's post-World War II–era charm.

Fitzgerald's in Berwyn (just off the Oak Park Blue Line stop) is transforming its SideBar into a recreation of Nick's—the rough-and-tumble bar that exists in the version of Bedford Falls where George Bailey was never born. The pop-up will feature an antique cash register (complete with a bell that awards angels with their wings), impromptu sing-alongs to “Auld Lang Syne” and a raffle at the end of each evening, drawn from a giant wicker basket.

A group of Chicago bartenders (who collectively go by the name Roosevelt Room) has developed a menu of cocktails inspired by It's A Wonderful Life that will be available in the pop-up. These creations include the “Flaming Rum Punch” ordered by guardian angel Clarence and a cocktail called “Zu-Zu's Petals.” Just like the Nick's depicted in the film, we're assuming that the bar will also serve some “hard drinks… for men who want to get drunk fast.”

The It's A Wonderful Life-themed pop-up bar will take over Fitzgerald's SideBar on every Wednesday in December (6, 13, 20, 27) beginning at 5pm each evening. Show up early to catch a jazz band performing Christmas standards (and maybe a rendition of “Buffalo Gals”) each Wednesday evening, then stick around late to watch It's A Wonderful Life in all its black-and-white glory in the bar from 8 to 10pm.

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