News / Drinking

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

It's a Wonderful Life
Courtesy Paramont Pictures

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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