A Q&A with Scott Shapiro of That Christmas Bar
Think of it as an ugly Christmas sweater party with fancy cocktails that lasts an entire month.
That Christmas Bar is a pop-up holiday diversion dreamed up by Scott and Kim Shapiro that is open through December 30, adjacent to their TD’s Tailgate Grill at 2234 Tuscarawas Street W in Canton.
Prior to the opening of That Christmas Bar on Black Friday, Scott talked about this new yuletide bar for ages 21 and older.
Q. How did you come up with the idea for a pop-up Christmas bar?
A. “Kim and I went to Washington, D.C., to check out this pop-up bar themed after (the HBO series) ‘Game of Thrones.’ I couldn’t believe this place—it is decorated like ‘Game of Thrones,’ drinks are named after the characters, the staff is dressed in ‘Games of Throne’ garb, and they’re yelling out stuff from the show. It opens at 4 o’clock, and when we got there at 3 on a Tuesday, there were 150 people in line already. It’s a bar that changes themes, and they do a Christmas one that’s also very popular, and we thought it would be cool to try that concept here in Canton. There have been about 10 or 15 of these around the country but none in Ohio.”
Q. So what’s the vibe of That Christmas Bar?
A. “It’s very kitschy, gaudy, shimmering and happy. It’s not some tasteful Hallmark Christmas card. Kim said it’s like it was decorated by someone with a garage full of crap. We have spent so much time at the Hartville Flea Market shopping for decorations. There’s a spinning Christmas tree, many lit-up snowmen, multiple Santas, glitzy candy canes. The music is all Christmas, all the classic Christmas songs, fun poppy stuff. We have a snow machine that goes off once an hour, and we play ‘Let It Snow.’ We’re showing Christmas movies on the television and having ugly-sweater contests on the weekends.”
Q. There are Christmas cocktails, right?
A. “Yes, Kim has created them, and they’re over the top. There are five martinis, including the Melted Snowman and the Rudolph-tini. The cocktails are inspired by ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,’ like Clark’s Christmas Bonus and I Don’t Know Margo. We have four Christmas beers on tap, and hot-buttered rum and some nonalcoholic drinks, too. If you want TD’s food, you have to go next door. We have things like warm Christmas cookies and bowls of holiday bar snacks, for purchase.”
Q. And you are having some special events, right?
A. “We’re doing multiple guest-bartender nights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and we’re doing three Breakfasts With Santa for families. We’ll serve breakfast in TD’s, then the kids will come into the Christmas bar to talk to Santa and get photos. We have a great Santa. People can find out about everything on the That Christmas Bar page on Facebook.”