Craft Concepts Group Debuts New All-Pink White Elephant Christmas Bar, New Uptown Express and Tinsel Christmas Comedy - Wooder Ice
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Craft Concepts Group Debuts New All-Pink White Elephant Christmas Bar, New Uptown Express and Tinsel Christmas Comedy

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Craft Concepts Group Debuts New All-Pink White Elephant Christmas Bar, New Uptown Express and Tinsel Christmas Comedy

Craft Concepts Group Debuts New All-Pink White Elephant Christmas Bar, New Uptown Express and Tinsel Christmas Comedy

Teddy Sourias and the elves at Craft Concepts Group are spreading Christmas cheer with three holiday themed pop-up bars for the 2023 season. White Elephant is set to open on Friday, December 1st at 1500 Locust with a pretty in pink design aesthetic and elite vibes that are pink, silver, gold, glitter and disco balls. The brand new bar took more than six weeks to construct and was kept secret until the giant white elephant appeared this week on Locust Street over the front doors. The newest Christmas bar in Philly will feature theme cocktails, photo opps, Carlino’s famous tomato pie and dazzling lights and decor. All aboard the Uptown Express – all new at Uptown Beer Garden (1500 JFK Blvd).

Uptown has been transformed from fun summer beer garden to North Pole winter wonderland via the Polar Express. President Teddy Sourias and designer Oscar Soto have crafted the perfect winter scene for patrons who want to be completely immersed in Christmas spirit and holiday cheer. Look for a Candy Cane forest from elf, large facade of The Polar Express, Christmas vacation motif in Kedera tiki bar, Heat Miser & Snow Miser arguing, and more.  Tinsel, Philly’s original pop-up Christmas bar returns with glitz, glamor, and ho-ho-holiday fun to saturate the season. “Christmas Comedy” celebrating the past 60 years of holiday classics, with enough custom paintings, sculptures, installations, and photo ops to drain your battery before your drink. Travel through the seven levels of The Candycane Forest, past the swirling Gumdrop Sea then relax in a corner of the Griswold living room, or assist Yukon Cornelius in battle against the formidable Bumble. Or join the Wet Bandits in a life of crime, just be sure not to “shoot your eye out, kid.” With enough lights, garland, and kitsch to make your Great Aunt Sally blush, Tinsel invites you to bask under the neon glow of familiar Christmas heroes- and antiheroes- just be sure you have your spiritual affairs in order before you meet the Ghost of Christmas Future.

White Elephant – 1500 Locust Street – opens Dec 1 4pm

Uptown Express – 1500 JFK – now open
Tinsel Christmas Pop-Up Bar – 116 S. 12th – now open

White Elephant is Philadelphia’s newest and prettiest Christmas bar at 1500 Locust Street. The new concept will open its doors at 4:00pm on Friday, December 1, 2023 to the 3,000 square feet of beautifully decorated space. The stunning, posh and pretty in pink decor is a mix of unique textures, fabrics, decorations and designs that are pink, silver and gold – with 300 disco balls and a disco ball Santa hanging overhead – with the complete dining room ceiling covered every inch with pink and pretty decorations, ornaments, snowflakes and more.

Teddy Sourias and the Craft Concepts Group team brainstormed the name together and worked with designers and artists Jill Keyes and Steph Irwin to design the space. With other popular Christmas bars such as Tinsel and the Uptown Express Pop-up at Uptown Beer Garden, they knew that it had to be unique, relevant, and exciting to become another staple in Philadelphia during the holiday season. The name stems from the popular Christmas gift exchange “White Elephant” party that became popular among households over the years. The name of the gift exchange has evolved  from yankee swap, dirty santa, and more – but originated as “White Elephant” that has now become a staple of the holiday season.

Picture a world where Christmas in pink, silver, gold, and disco collide in a cacophony of holiday magic! White Elephant is more than just a bar; it’s an experience. From the moment you step inside, you’re in a wonderland of shimmering ornaments, twinkling lights, and an abundance of disco balls – 300 to be exact! A vision of a Christmas celebration that is both traditional and trendsetting. For a twist on tradition: we’re introducing a holiday twist on a local favorite – cold tomato pie from local Carlino’s Italian market (until supplies last), a savory treat that perfectly complements the sweet and festive atmosphere, adding a unique touch to the experience at White Elephant. Visualized by the festive atmosphere, the bar is decorated with 300 disco balls, 1200 christmas ornaments, 8000 feet of garland, 12 Christmas trees, and a show stopping 7 foot X 8 foot giant fiberglass antique white elephant head. Join us in bringing the Christmas party to Locust street this holiday season!

Sourias said, “We had a vision for a disco pink & sparkly Christmas party with every square inch of the venue covered in pink, silver, gold holiday ornaments, streamers, garland, and other Christmas decor! We wanted to go all out and do something never been done before in Philly – and bring some holiday cheer to this section of Rittenhouse. Where Tinsel is the original, and Uptown is the largest outdoor Christmas bar, we wanted to create something with elite vibes, that is well done and cozy, yet takes your breath away when you step inside. We can’t wait to debut it to the world when we open this Friday.”

For design and sourcing, Sourias explained many of the materials were sourced locally in Philadelphia – which gives White Elephant a local nostalgic feel! He said, “We worked closely with local businesses, salvage, thrift, and second-hand businesses in the area to create the magic within the space and utilize local materials – being a local team ourselves. The White Elephant hand-made fiberglass head you’ll see upon entering is an authentic antique – and was sourced from an antique shop and originally an amusement park funhouse elephant head, a truly unique antique to bring to the space and tie in the history of the name White Elephant itself.”

For vibe, he said, “We wanted to keep many of the Blume elements that shaped the space so well, including the pink seating bays and the pastel colored walls. When deciding to do a Christmas pop-up, the design team kept many of these elements and then embellished with the pink, sparkly, disco overlay that you’ll see from the moment you walk into the space. Around this area – there is no other venue or bar that quite encapsules Christmas in this fashion –  a glam, pink, disco Christmas that you can experience here at White Elephant. There was minimal actual construction done to the space – so the design team had a hearty challenge transforming the space into the new concept from the old – but created an entirely new interior out of decorations and installations alone. The most challenging part was keeping that original Blume element – but making the decor blanket the space to where the shell of Blume is barely recognizable, replaced completely with White Elephant and the Christmas disco party of the holiday season.”

For the perfect holiday party photo, there are many elements in the bar that make it instagram worthy – starting with the life – sized 7X8 foot antique White Elephant head that dons the bar. Besides that, the ceiling is coated with pink streamers, disco balls, Christmas ornaments, and Garland. Each pocket of the venue is covered in Christmas decor – as if you have stepped directly into Eloise’s Christmas at the Plaza, that is also hosting a disco party. The cocktails are also instagram worthy, creating a warm winter feel of traditional Christmas through exciting garnishes and cocktail finishes.

The televisions will have a roaring fire on them to add to the vibes, and the sound system has a special White Elephant curated playlist to set the tone.

For drinks look for a special menu with specialty hand-crafted cocktails that are winter and Christmas themed alongside typical craft beer and domestic favorites – including holiday selections pouring as well. Mike Smyth of White Elephant designed the menu to be upscale, classy with elevated Christmas cocktails – think eggnog, cranberries, spice, sugar with fancy winter garnishes and more.

For food, look for locally sourced cold tomato pie from Carlino’s Italian Market to support a local Philadelphia business staple that we all know and love. Tomato pie orders will take place at the counter and each guest will be given an ornament to redeem at the kitchen window for their slice or two – or three.

Once open, hours will be Sunday to Thursday, 4:00pm to 12:00am Midnight, and Friday 4:00pm to 2:00am, and Saturday 4:00pm to 2:00am. White Elephant is located in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Center City.

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