There are a ton of ways to celebrate Hanukkah in New York each year—but never before has there been a Hanukkah-themed bar open in town... until now!
Award-winning bartender Naomi Levy launched Maccabee Bar in Boston back in 2018 and the aptly-named pop-up is making its New York debut at Ollie West Village at 64 Downing Street by Varick Street on December 13.
Let's start with the bar's name. As fellow Jews probably know, the Maccabees led the revolt against the ruler of the Syrian kingdom, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, who tried to oppress the practice of Judaism across the reign. The Maccabees' successful rebellion is one of the many historical facts celebrated during Hanukkah.
"I love Christmas and all of the Christmas bars that pop up this time of year," Levy said in an official statement about seasonal efforts like the beloved Miracle pop-bars. "But I always felt like a tourist. There was never really anything for someone like me that wasn't raised with Christmas."
As a result, Levy launched the Hanukkah wonderland, which not only serves themed cocktails and traditional bites but also looks the part, with decor that calls out to the Jewish holiday.
Among the outstanding drink menu items are the Latke Sour (apple brandy, potato, lemon and tobacco bitters) and the Hebrew Hammer (vodka, "leavened" sugar, lemon and raspberry, reminiscent of sufganiyot, the jelly-filled donuts commonly eaten this time of the year). Yes, there will also be latkes and other snacks available for munching.
Maccabee Bar will open through December 31 on Tuesdays through Saturdays. The week of Hanukkah, which this year falls on December 18 through 26, the bar will stay open every single night.
Happy holidays, folks!