You’ll be seeing double this holiday season thanks to Spencer Warren: The guy behind Pittsburgh’s Miracle pop-up bar is opening two locations for yuletide cheer this year.
Miracle on Carson opens Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 2204 East Carson St., in the former Lava Lounge. It will operate daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. through Dec. 31.
It’s sister site, Miracle on Liberty, debuts Friday, Nov. 29 in The Clark Building at 717 Liberty Ave. Hours are 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. through Dec. 31.
Miracle pop-ups are a nationwide phenomenon that started six years ago in New York City. This year, nearly 100 cities are participating, from California to Vermont and everywhere in between. They’re known for over-the-top decorations, inventive cocktails and Instagram-worthy glassware.
Miracle pop-ups are places you can go to drink and be merry, but the temporary holiday headquarters also serve an altruistic purpose.
A portion of the money raised through drink sales will benefit the global organization Action Against Hunger and the local nonprofit 412 Food Rescue, which redirects potentially wasted food to people in need. Warren’s goal is to reach $52,000 in donations this year.
Warren, an award-winning mixologist and owner of The Warren Neighborhood Bar in Downtown Pittsburgh, has become an expert at transforming unused spaces into hot party spots. In October, he opened Cocktails from the Crypt, a Halloween pop-up featuring creepy decor and to-die-for drinks inside the old Lava Lounge.
With that nightmare now over, it’s time to get the venue into the Christmas spirit.
This year’s drink menu features some returning favorites that’ll turn your nose as red as Rudolph’s, including the KoalaLa La La, La La La La — a cocktail made with gin, pine tea cordial, grapefruit oleo and eucalyptus bitters. New additions include the Missle Toe (a green, toe-shaped shot glass filled with gingerbread spiced rum) and the SanTaRex, which is a 12-ounce ceramic dinosaur brimming with rye whiskey, Oloroso Sherry, spiced apple cider concentrate, lemon juice, hard cider and baked apple bitters.
The space will also be dramatically decorated. Each year, Warren accepts donations of new and gently used decorations, which can be dropped off at The Warren (245 7th St.) or at the Miracle sites.
The festive decor is meant to welcome everyone. Last year’s Miracle bar wasn’t all tinsel and tannenbaums: There were sections decked out for Hanukkah and even a space celebrating Krampus, the anti-Santa Claus. And both Miracle bars are available for private parties.