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Street artist Don’t Fret is collaborating with Emporium on its latest pop-up bar

Zach Long
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Zach Long
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After spending 2017 recreating the Stranger Things set, paying tribute to The Room and building a boozy haunted house, Emporium Popups is getting ready to kick off the new year with a new concept that should host plenty of Chicago Handshakes.

Ubiquitous Chicago street artists Don't Fret (who once designed a Time Out Chicago magazine cover) are collaborating with Emporium to create the Light Times Club. The dive bar-themed pop-up has previously been constructed in Soho House, Gold Star Bar and Publican Quality Meats, but Emporium's iteration looks like it may be the most expansive version of the interactive art installation yet.

The centerpiece of the event is a bar-within-a-bar modeled after a typical Chicago dive, with an Old Style lamp hanging from the ceiling, a vintage cash register on the counter and vintage photographs lining the walls. In addition to Don't Fret's distinctive art (including murals in the bathrooms) as well a well-stocked cooler of Malört and Old Style, the pop-up bar also features a Light Times Mug Club that allows guests to purchase ceramic mugs to use whenever they visit and take advantage of special, members-only discounts on drinks.

Don't Fret also designed a custom jukebox for the space, stocked with 50 albums curated by the artists and the Emporium team as well as 50 albums that will be curated by local bands Twin Peaks, Ne-Hi and Whitney. Members of each of these bands will be DJing at the Light Times Club every Saturday throughout the pop-up's run.

The Light Times Club opens on Wednesday, January 17 at 7pm and will remain in the Emporium Popups space through February 10. For a preview of the Chicago-indebted concept, take a look at some photos of the space below.

Photograph: Jared Saul

Photograph: Jared Saul

Photograph: Jared Saul

Photograph: Jared Saul

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