Center City’s largest beer garden is now open for the first-time ever as a Halloween pop-up beer garden that transports visitors to Hawkins Indiana 1983. Stranger things have happened in Philly, but maybe none as strange as the creatures and characters inhabiting the 18,000 square foot space when the sun goes down. Look for Max levitating high above the SEPTA station, Demogorgons, Demodogs, Vecna guarding City Hall and, of course, all the victims.
Uptown is ready to take Philly to the Upside Down with iconic scenes, custom made props, authentic art pieces and hand-sculpted monsters that will have visitors doing a double take. On the cocktail menu, look for Stranger Things inspired cocktails and potions, plus find a new menu of hearty fall favorites from the kitchen. In the background, listen for a curated soundtrack that brings together the best of Uptown Beer Garden shuffled with top hits from the show’s soundtrack. On top of Uptown Upside Down, look for the entrance and tunnel adjacent to Uptown to feature nods to Halloween classics, and don’t forget to look below the lower SEPTA courtyard for the ghosts and ghouls of SEPTA’s past. Philly, the time has come. Be afraid. Doors are now open and the wait is over. Uptown Upside Down is now open Monday through Thursday, from 4:00pm to Midnight, Friday from 4:00pm to 2:00am, Saturday, from 11:00am to 2:00am, and Sunday, from 11:00am to Midnight. Families are invited this year to visit Uptown Beer Garden (15th/JFK) for spooky season. Children and teenagers under 21 are welcome with a parent or guardian, any day of the week except Fridays and Saturdays after 8:00pm. Admission to Uptown is free, with exceptions for special and private events.
“After the instant success of Tinsel Christmas Pop-up Bar and Nightmare Before Tinsel, I always wanted to have a giant outdoor Halloween pop-up at Uptown Beer Garden,” said Sourias. “Over the pandemic we moved to a larger and more unique space with more room to get creative. We hosted our first Christmas pop-up with U-Ville during the holiday season. Now, the time seemed right to take the space at 15th and JFK and evolve it for Halloween. The theme was an easy choice, as our team at Craft Concepts Group are obsessed with the show. We engaged with local artists to really go for authentic pieces and go above and beyond anything we have ever done before. Uptown Upside Down joins Nightmare Before Tinsel and our new Little Blume of Horrors as the city’s three premiere Halloween pop-up bars and attractions for spooky season. We can’t wait to see everyone out this October. And yes, Tinsel Christmas Pop-up Bar is already being built and U-Ville is definitely coming back – both with new designers, new art pieces and new surprises.”
Uptown Beer Garden for October has two parts – to cater to those that know the show and for those that simply love Halloween. As you enter Uptown, look for over-the-top and larger-than-life characters and props, including a giant skeleton, werewolf, electric chair, stockade, spider web tunnel and giant spiders – plus the main covered and heated tent is decked out in thousands of purple, orange and white lights. When you enter, look down for the giant ghosts of SEPTA’s past that haunt the lower courtyard. When you move past the blur of Halloween colors, you will enter the doors to Hawkins Indiana 1983.
The entire central courtyard and main area of the beer garden has gotten a make-over with realistic props, scenes, art pieces, backdrops – and even the Surfer Boy Pizza Van – and yes, it already got a ticket from the PPA.
The ambitious pop-up design features over a dozen life-size monsters and set replica photo ops (including the portal to the Upside Down) amazingly brought to life by lead artists Zeneca Thompson and Jason Miller.
Sourias said, “We’ve talked about creating a Demogorgon pretty much every year for Nightmare Before Tinsel, but never went for it because we were worried we couldn’t pull off something realistic enough. This year we were blessed with the opportunity to work with bona-fide horror and Halloween enthusiasts Zeneca and Jason, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results.”
Project Managers Alex Bokulich and Isabel Rosenberg additionally enlisted the help of other local artists to complete the designs, with Annemarie Branco, Scott Johnston, Meagan Macklin, Marc Andrew Tous, Caleb Lunke each contributing mightily.
Look for life-size Demogorgons, Demodogs, Joyce’s couch, many victims, a portal, a stoner van, and full-blown Vecna-scape, among numerous other photo ops and frights throughout the space. Complimenting the decor and vibe, look for Stranger Things inspired potions and cocktails, plus a new menu of fall favorite foods. For the soundtrack, Uptown’s fall favorites will be shuffled with hits as featured in the show, with some Halloween cult classics added in for extra spooky season fun.
fosforo mezcal,cinnamon simple,sour mix, blackberry,dehydrated orange
ghost blanco tequila,pear,simple syrup,sprite
boardroom vodka,creme de cacao,mint choc syrup, milk,waňecone
WHEN HAZEL MET COCO
screwball,hazelnut simple,chocolate,whipped cream
WHATEVER SPICES YOUR PUMPKIN
northbound bourbon,pumpkin spice syrup,lemon, club soda
WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT
$15 bacardi spiced,ginger liqueur,lime,gingerbeer
$16 whitley neill quince gin,lemon,apple simple,club
union forge vodka,peach schnapps,cranberry,red bull
CHRISSY WAKE UP
absolut vanilla,coņeeliqueur,cold brew *keepsakeglassware
absolut vanilla,pumpkin sour liqueur,cold brew
FIRE & ICE
fireball, ginger liqueur,apple cider
YOU REMIND ME OF THE BABE
kiki vodka,watermelon red bull, raspberry, lemon juice
MIND FLARE SHOT
raspberry vodka,peach schnapps,cranberry