Editor’s note: Lodgic’s Miracle Bar closed on Dec. 7, 2022.
Nationally Known Miracle Bar Pop-Up Finds Its Way to Champaign at Lodgic
A Miracle has arrived on Neil Street in Champaign just in time for the holiday season.
Lodgic Champaign has transformed its cafe area into a holiday pop-up cocktail lounge, known as Miracle on Neil. With themed drinks, 30,000 lights and classic holiday tunes on the sound system, Miracle on Neil Street is destined to be a popular place to gather with grownup friends, colleagues and relatives.
“We’re leaning into kitschy Christmas,” said Teresa Brown, Lodgic Champaign managing director.
Miracle on Neil Street will make its debut on Black Friday and will stay open through New Year’s Eve. Reservations are recommended; make reservations by visiting everydaykitchen.com/champaign or calling 217-607-1960. Miracle on Neil Street hours will be 4-10 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday.
The Miracle Bar concept is popular across the country; it can be found in 39 states and six countries this year. Lodgic will be the only Illinois location for Miracle Bar this year.
Although the Miracle popup bar is designed for grownups, the decor will be up in the cafe throughout the Miracle Bar run. Families are welcome to come in and take photos during regular daytime business hours, Brown said.
Signature drinks are priced between $10-12. Each Miracle on Neil Street cocktail boasts cheerful holiday flavors presented in unique mugs or signature glassware, such as the dinosaur with Santa hat. Some of the glassware is also available for purchase.
It’s just as fun to smell the drinks as it is to consume them. The drink “Santa’s Little Helper” smells like winter.
The menu includes “Holiday Spiked Chai” (Jamaican rum, coffee liqueur, amaretto, chai, almond milk, tiki bitters, served hot); “Jingle Ball Nog” (cognac, cream sherry, vanilla, and nutmeg); “Snowball Old-Fashioned” (rye whiskey, gingerbread syrup, duo of bitters, orange essence); “Elfing Around” (Prosecco, gin, mulled wine reduction, grapefruit shrub, orange bitters); and the “Christmapolitan” (vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, lime, rosemary, absinthe mist).
Two shots also make the festive drink menu. There’s a “Nice Shot” (rum, peppermint tea, chocolate) and a “Naughty Shot” (bourbon, cinnamon).
Brown and Lodgic hope patrons put on their best holiday dresses and duds (or theme outfits) and come to Miracle Bar more than once. On some evenings, there will be entertainment, including Gary the twotall elf. Some nights will have themes, such as dress as your favorite Christmas movie character, Brown said. The full schedule hasn’t been released yet.
Guests are encouraged to “make a night of it,” and head over to the Miracle Bar before or after eating dinner at Everyday Kitchen. The restaurant and its main bar remain open separately from Miracle Bar.
The overall theme is kitschy holiday fun. Touches include life-size make-believe gingerbread house and seating inside cozy, wintertime-at-the-cabin-themed booths.
“We thought everyone could use a dose of holiday cheer and a festive drink or two this year,” aid Everyday Kitchen Operations Manager and Executive Chef Michael Maggi.
In addition to fun, Lodgic will also use the pop-up as a way to spread cheer within the community. It will serve as an Angel Tree site for Cunningham Children’s Home and a collection site for a coat drive benefitting Courage Connection. It will also participate in the Eastern Illinois Foodbank’s 12 days of giving, a coordinated food drive beginning on Giving Tuesday (November 29) and ending on December 15.
Proceeds from the popup bar will benefit Lodgic’s non-profit partnership.
The Miracle Bar concept was born in 2014 when owner Greg Boehm decided to halt construction of what was to be his new East Village cocktail bar called Mace and transformed the unfinished space into a pop-up bar serving holiday-themed drinks among over-the-top Christmas decorations. This year marks its debut in Champaign. For more info, check out miraclepopup.com