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National Harbor’s New Circus-Themed Bar Will Sling Cotton Candy Cocktails

Eater logo Eater 2/8/2019 Tierney Plumb
Circus attendees can pregame at a new bar dubbed the Mirror Room and take the colorful cups home. © Big Apple Circus/official photo Circus attendees can pregame at a new bar dubbed the Mirror Room and take the colorful cups home.

Plus, it’s opening night for Laoban Dumplings at Destination Wedding

Pop-ups seem to be everywhere in D.C. lately. Here, Eater will highlight some of the best pop-up options coming to town over the next month or so, and periodically update this guide when old ones disappear and new ones emerge. This curated guide includes everything from longer-term pop-ups to one-time events. It de-emphasizes residencies lasting more than a couple of months, or events labeled pop-ups that don’t quite fit the format.

The Eater DC pop-up roundup is traditionally updated every other week or so: send any upcoming pop-up information to dc@eater.com for potential inclusion.

THE MIRROR ROOM AT BIG APPLE CIRCUS

The Deal: To lure more millennials and adults to the Big Apple Circus coming to National Harbor, a splashy stained glass-accented bar leading to the big tent will serve drinks created by a top New York City-based mixologist. Three-time “American Bartender of the Year” Pamela Wiznitzer, part of the opening team at Wall Street’s iconic Dead Rabbit, created The Big Apple (Circus) with vodka, lemon, rosemary, and sparkling apple juice, complete with a Red Vine straw and apple gummies. Other themed elixirs include The Flossy, Flossy with alcoholic cotton candy and the Howl At The Moon with whiskey and chai. Circus-centric bites include organic popcorn and hand-spun cotton candy. The elaborate Mirror Room setup arrived from Paris in 3,000 pieces, consisting of wood, mirrors, and fabric.

Where: 165 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland

Dates: Thursday, February 14, Sunday, March 24; The Mirror Room will be open an hour before each show’s start time and during intermission

Cost: Circus tickets start at $15, and the $20 VIP package add-on includes unlimited cocktails, beer, wine, bites, and a private coat check and bathrooms

LAOBAN DUMPLINGS AT DESTINATION WEDDING

The Deal: The homegrown dumplings enterprise will celebrate the Lunar New Year with a two-night residency at the wedding-themed venue under Doi Moi. To honor the Year of the Pig, there’s a Berkshire pork and Chinese chives option and the Fakin’ Bacon — a vegan mix of smoked tofu, beets, and red cabbage. Debut cocktails from bar head Lukas Smith include a Lychee Lemon Lime soda and a Five Spice Cola soda paired with Asian spirits. After the event, the sodas will be for sale in Laoban’s shops.

Where: Destination Wedding

Dates: Friday, February 8 to Saturday, February 9 from 7 p.m. until dumplings sell out

Cost: Four dumplings for $6

SPARKS FLY AT TRUXTON INN

The Deal: Bloomingdale’s Truxton Inn — a known hot spot for Tinder dates — wants sparks to fly alongside its new lineup of cocktails celebrating Nicholas Sparks, author of romantic novel-turned-movie The Notebook. General manager Brian Nixon’s six themed drinks include a bottled spirit dubbed “Drunk Text Message in a Bottle.” There’s also “A Drink to Remember” with Ford’s Gin as an ode to the Sparks book, A Walk to Remember. The library-styled cocktail lair will be stocked with Sparks novels alongside framed snapshots of famous movie scenes (think Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams making out in the rain). The bar also honored literary and art greats Stephen King and Norman Rockwell during recent pop-ups.

Where: Truxton Inn, 251 Florida Avenue NW

Dates: Friday, February 1 through Thursday, February 28

Cost: Cocktails are $10-$13

APRES SKI AT LA JAMBE

The Deal: Shaw’s romantic wine bar La Jambe just transformed into a cozy winter wonderland straight out of the French Alps, complete with fake snow, skis, and mittens dangling on coat racks. Guests can feast on fondue for three to six (reservation required), raclette, boeuf bourguignon, and duck confit, alongside French-style mulled wine and themed cocktails.

Where: La Jambe, 1550 7th Street NW

Dates: Through Sunday, February 17

APRES SKI AT WUNDERGARTEN

The Deal: The NoMa beer garden is also going the Apres Ski route for two weekends in February, decking out its year-round drinking oasis with a giant snow globe and fire pits. Expect a DJ and shotskis, fire performances, and virtual reality skiing.

Where: 1101 First Street NE

Dates: February 7-10 and 14-17

TUNNEL OF LOVE AT IRON GATE

The Deal: For its annual Valentine’s Day pop-up, Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s romantic restaurant from chef Anthony Chittum is celebrating love songs from past and present. Teenybopper decor includes TigerBeat pullout posters and heartthrob cutouts of Drake and Justin Timberlake. Spirits manager Nick Farrell’s lineup of 9 themed cocktails feature lyrical names like “I love you like a fat kid loves cake” (50 Cent) with vanilla infused whiskey, cacao, rinomato, lemon and “I’ve been drinking, I’ve been drinking” (Beyonce) with mezcal, ginger, rakomelo, vanilla, lime, cocoa bitters, and “cigar on ice”. There’s even a nod to Netflix’s hit Bird Box, with a cocktail served in a blindfolded tiki glass.

Where: Iron Gate, 1734 N Street NW

Dates: Friday, February 1 through Valentine’s Day

Cost: Cocktails are $13; dishes start at $9 up to $35 for Seven Hills farm beef short ribs. See full menu below:

FINAL ToLfoodmenu (2) by on Scribd

a white plate topped with meat and vegetables © Iron Gate/official photo
New Frontier bison heart tartare, beet variations, pine nuts, and shaved foie gras ($14).

SIM’S CREOLE KITCHEN AT BAR ROUBAIX

The Deal: The Columbia Heights bar is throwing a month-long fete for fans of creole cuisine, complete with king cakes, beignets, brass bands, and New Orleans cocktails and beers. Its New Orleans chef Sim Bates, who relocated to D.C. after Hurricane Katrina, is adding lots of family recipes to the menu. Think: red beans and rice, traditional and vegetarian Jambalaya, grilled oysters, and gumbo.

Where: Bar Roubaix, 1400 Irving Street NW

Dates: Through Mardi Gras (Tuesday, March 5)

ALFIE’S NIGHT MARKET AT LUCKY BUNS

The Deal: The burger bar will transform into a late-night hangout for handmade Northern Thai dishes over two weekends in January. There’s gaeng hangleh (pork curry, pickled garlic, and ginger), handmade sai ua sausage, sticky rice, and Khao soi. Lucky Buns owner and avid traveler Alex McCoy is still on the prowl for a permanent location to revive his longtime Thai kitchen, Alfie’s.

Where: Lucky Buns, 2000 18th Street NW

Dates: Every Friday and Saturday (starting February 8) from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. (or until dishes sell out).

BOURBON ON ICE

The Deal: The Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown has transformed its brick-walled patio into a winter escape, complete with three heated domes for an intimate al fresco dining experience. Available to reserve from lunch until closing, each decorated igloo serves sips from head bartender Sarah Rosner and Alpine-inspired dishes from executive chef Drew Adams.

Where: 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Dates: Through the end of February

Cost: Rental fees range from $150-$200, with a food and drink minimum of $50 to $150 per person.

THE WATERGATE’S WINTER WONDERLAND

The Deal: The iconic hotel brought back its 12-foot igloos outside of The Next Whisky bar, complete with fondue (savory and dessert) and cocktail offerings. Its rooftop skating rink is also back through the winter with hot pretzels, spiked hot chocolate, and mulled wine.

Where: Watergate hotel, 2650 Virginia Avenue NW

Dates: Through February 28

Cost: Igloos for two to eight people start at $200; skate rentals are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.

HOLIDAY MARKET AT PUB AND THE PEOPLE

The Deal: The Bloomingdale gastropub has a heated, dog-friendly holiday tent with hot cocktails served in wintry mugs, snuggle blankets, and music.

Where: 1648 N. Capitol Street NW

Dates: Open for happy hour through dinner service until mid-March

Cost: Hot and cold cocktails ($8-$12) include Irish Coffee and “Snow Pants Combo” with oatmeal stout and a shot of bourbon cream.

‘HOT COCO’ AT LITTLE COCO’S

The Deal: Washington City Paper reports the Petworth pizza parlor is transforming its upstairs patio into a ski lodge through the spring, complete with hot, cold, and sharable drinks concocted by the team at sister spot Bar Charley. Think small crockpots of mulled cider, a “Just The Nog” cocktail made with milk, and “shotskis” — multiple shots lined up on a ski for group drinking. The cozy space will sport an electric fireplace, faux bearskin rugs, and reindeer heads, with Netflix’s Fireplace For Your Home channel projected across the wall, per WCP.

Where: Little Coco’s, 3907 14th Street NW

Dates: Starting Wednesday, December 5, through mid-March

Cost: Cocktails run $9-$13 (aside from the sharable cocktails) and shotskis are $20.

RUM-DMV AT BARREL

The Deal: Owner Matthew Weiss and the Barrel team transformed the downstairs Elixir Bar into a throwback drinking den from the 1980s and early 1990s, complete with original and classic rum-focused cocktails like the “Beets by Dre.” Rum-DMV — a name inspired by rapper Run-DMC, the spirit, and the D.C. area — will also feature arcade games and a jukebox exclusively playing hip hop from that genre.

Where: 613 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

Dates: Starting Friday, October 5

MOM & POP AT SHOP MADE IN DC

The Deal: Homegrown coffee and gelato chain Dolcezza is installing a modified version of its Mosaic District offshoot, Mom & Pop, for the next six months at Dupont’s Shop Made in DC. Featured offerings include: rotating local pour-overs, breakfast sandwiches, salads, snack boards, meatball subs, grilled cheese, plus local beer and wine.

Where: 1330 19th Street NW

Dates: Starting Monday, April 2

Cost: Salads and sandwiches are $8-$12; gelato runs $6-$8; pastries are $3-$5; beer and wine is $6-$10.

REPUBLIC KOLACHE

The Deal: Floating pastry-maker Republic Kolache sells its lineup of its savory, sweet, and signature kolaches at two pop ups around town.

Dates: Every Tuesday at Reliable Tavern (3655 Georgia Avenue NW); from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., Friday through Sunday at Hill Country (410 Seventh Street NW). Request pre-orders here.

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