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The latest Emporium pop-up bar is an homage to ‘Stranger Things’

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

After hosting Killer Mike and El-P in its Run the Jewels-inspired Stay Gold pop-up bar during Lollapalooza weekend, Emporium's next temporary concept is taking a spooky turn. On Friday, August 18, the Logan Square space adjacent to Emporium Arcade Bar will transform into the Upside Down, a pop-up bar that pays tribute to the ’80s-indebted scares of Netflix's Stranger Things.

Mimicking the series' nostalgic setting, the decor of the Upside Down is designed to resemble an "end of summer ‘80s dance party," taking place amid recreations of familiar settings such as the Byers' living room and the mysterious Mirkwood forest. Art installations throughout the bar will make you feel like you're hunting down a Demogorgon with your best friends as you snap selfies in front of the Christmas-light covered alphabet wall or listen to DJs spinning period-appropriate tunes from a booth that looks like it was constructed by the Hawkins Middle School A.V. Club.

The bar will be serving four cocktails and two boozy slushies with ties to Stranger Things, including a scotch and coffee liqueur concoction called "Coffee & Contemplation" and "Mouth Breather," made with gin, ancho reyes, caramelized pineapple, lime and hellfire shrub. You'll also be able to order a can of Schlitz (Chief Hopper's preferred beverage) or Goose Island's GI5-5538 red pale ale, which was originally brewed for Pitchfork Music Festival in collaboration with SURVIVE—the band behind the Stranger Things soundtrack.

"We had a handful of random ideas for potential pop-ups that could follow the Run The Jewels project," Emporium beverage director Jared Saul told us. "One day I came across the San Diego Comic Con trailer for the second season of Stranger Things and became re-obsessed with the show." If you're like Saul and can't wait to see what monsters the Hawkins gang encounters next, you'll be able to pass the time at the bar and count down the days until the premiere of Stranger Things season two on October 27.

You can step into the Upside Down when it opens in the space next to Emporium Logan Square on Friday, August 18 at 7pm (it will remain open through the end of September)—don't forget to bring along a 12-sided die and some Eggo Waffles.

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