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Former Clarendon Ballroom once again turning into a winter wonderland

The former Clarendon Ballroom is once again being transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday season.

The ownership group behind the Lot, the nearby and popular outdoor beer garden, is putting together the seasonal pop-up. It will open on Friday at 8 p.m. and continue through January, a company spokesperson writes ARLnow in response to an inquiry.

“Guests can expect new holiday drinks, a totally winterized change in decor, and an awesome lineup of events in the space!,” writes the spokesperson.

Cocktails will include ones with festive names like the “Polar Express” (Grey goose, blueberry vodka, blueberry Red Bull with a “white shimmer”) and the christmas cookie-flavored “Ornament Shooters.”

“They’re also bringing back the popular “Jingle Juice Punch,” which is made with a secret recipe but includes White Claw seltzers,” notes the spokesperson.

There’s no cover and the pop-up bar will be open Friday and Saturday nights. This Friday’s “relaunch” party is set to feature DJ Vicious, according to the website.

This version will be pretty similar to last year’s winter wonderland, though it will actually be opened for the holiday season.

The 2020 version was reportedly delayed from opening due to “typical internal delays,” like equipment arriving on time. The County Board also didn’t approve the bar’s request for a live entertainment and dancing permit until mid-December. The food permit wasn’t approved until December 29.

“The winter wonderland theme received a lot of positive feedback last year! People loved the festive decorations, Christmas lights, and holiday spirit, and we’re excited to share this experience with our guests again,” Michael Bramson, co-owner of the pop-up bar, writes ARLnow. “The Winter Wonderland is quickly turning into one of our favorite holiday traditions.”

Since first popping up last year in the midst of the pandemic, Clarendon Pop-Up Bar has decked out the space at 3185 Wilson Blvd with a number of themes. Most recently, it traveled back time to the 1980s with hot pink and blue hues reminiscent of “Miami Vice.”

But the bar will be moving from the hot, sandy beaches of Miami to the cold, snowy landscape of the North Pole.

The long-time nightlife venue Clarendon Ballroom closed as its prior iteration nearly two years ago. In late December 2020, Monument Realty purchased the building at 3185 Wilson Blvd for nearly $7 million and signed a 21-month lease with the Lot’s owners to operate pop-up bars out of the space.

While there’s another nine months on that agreement, Monument Realty told Washington Business Journal that it was a possibility that the ownership group could take over the space permanently.

Another big difference compared from last year’s pop-up is that indoor capacity restrictions and mask requirements have been considerable loosened. There are no longer any capacity restrictions and masks are no longer required indoors, though they are encouraged.

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