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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

‘Elf’ pop-up bar to bring holiday spirit to city

Photo by Maddy Perkins
The venue provides a special opportunity where attendees can take pictures with elf body cutouts. The bar is furnished with holiday decorations inspired by the popular film.

Gabriella Galassini said her family makes it a priority to watch the movie “Elf” together every year around Christmas time. It’s a tradition she plans to carry on in the future with her own family.

“I laugh every time he says: ‘Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?’ no matter how many times I watch that movie. And, trust me, it’s been hundreds of times,” Galassini, a senior in the College of Health Sciences, said. 

For “Elf” fans like Galassini, Milwaukee painting bar Splash Studio is hosting a pop-up bar inspired by the Christmas movie. It is open from Nov. 23 to Dec. 29. Despite being such a dedicated fan, Galassini said she had no idea about the bar, but she will be sure to visit. 

The bar, located at 1815 E. Kenilworth Pl., will convert to “Elves Studio” for the holiday season, with the employees even dressing as elves.  

Kate Gilbs, a Splash Studio employee, said she enjoys wearing the elf uniform. 

“I love Christmas and the holiday spirit, so it feels good to spread it to other people that come in,” she said. “It just puts me in a great mood, even at work.”  

She said one of her favorite parts of the “Elf” pop-up bar is the new drink menu, with names inspired by the movie.  

“Guests really get a kick out of the funny, and honestly, creative names,” Gilbs said.  

Milwaukee resident Maria Gonzalez said she loves the movie “Elf” and tries to watch it every year with her kids. While visiting the Elves Studio on Saturday, she said she enjoyed the “Snow Globe” cocktail the most.  

“I love how all of the drinks and snacks are inspired by the movie. ‘The Mad Elf’ (cocktail) is hilarious to me because I love that part of the movie,” Gonzalez said. 

Other alcoholic cocktails included on the menu are “Gingerbread Martini,” “SparkleJazzyJingles,” “Breakfast of Champions,” “Coke-tails for all the Reindeer” and “Milwaukee’s Best Coffee.” 

As far as the snacks go, Gonzalez said her husband and she have only tried “Santa’s Beef & Cheese Platter,” which includes summer sausage, cheddar and Swiss cheese with crackers. However, she said she wants to try “A Balanced Diet,” which is caramel corn with candy corn, candy and a candy cane — some of Buddy the Elf’s main food groups in the movie. 

Elves Studio is open for all ages. Non-alcoholic drinks include “Candy Candy Candy,” “Maple Cream Soda,” “Polar Bear,” “A Lousy Cup of Coffee” and “Hot Chocolate.” “Maple Cream Soda” is pure maple syrup, vanilla and soda, and “Polar Bear” is coke with cherry or vanilla syrup.  

Gilbs said the bar offers photo opportunities for guests.

“Around the corner there are elves with their head(s) cut out, so kids can stick their heads through it and they look like an elf,” Gilbs said. “We also have a sleigh that kids can sit on for pictures.”

Erin Hochevar, the marketing director of Splash Studios, said the entire main room incorporates decorations and anecdotes from the movie. 

“Given how visual and nostalgic the holidays are, we decided to go all out in decorating and theming the space, beverages and food along with the creative projects,” Hochevar said. “Elves Studio started from our idea to feature festive holiday projects throughout the month of December. Creative projects are the heart of Splash Studio and, therefore, the heart of Elves Studio as well.”  

Hocheavar said along with the special drinks, the decorations are her favorite part of the Elves Studio. 

“Our team hand-cuts over 2,000 paper snowflakes and paper chains to decorate Santa’s Workshop, and it’s beautiful. I’ll be sad when we have to take those down,” she said.  

Hocheavar said the venue will feature special events as well. 

“(There are) new projects: cross-stitch, an ‘elfie’ wreath and kid’s projects,” Hocheavar said. “They are great for all ages, but some are definitely geared toward adults. We think cheeky cross-stich projects are hilarious!”  

She said kids can create snowman and reindeer ornaments.  

“(Upon) arrival, you’ll receive either a ‘nice’ or ‘naughty’ scavenger hunt (list) describing things to see and do throughout the space. The ‘naughty’ list is for adults only,” Hocheavar said.  

Among the special events coming up at Elves Studio are an ugly sweater party Dec. 5, a Santa Rampage Beef and Cheese After Party Dec. 7 and a Spread Christmas Cheer for All to Hear Sing-Along Dec. 14.

This story was written by Maddy Perkins. She can be reached at [email protected]. 

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