Spooky season is now upon us. And if you’re a fan of everything Halloween, then you won’t want to miss the latest Del Ray pop-up bar, Nightmare on the Avenue.
This is yet another creation from owners Bill Blackburn and “Mango” Mike Anderson of the Homegrown Restaurant Group. While Nightmare on the Avenue has become an annual theme for the ever-changing pop-ups, Blackburn says it is very different from last year’s.
“We still used some of the same effects, but we spent about twice the amount of time decorating and changed up the feel a bit to where the décor is about 90 percent different from last year’s,” he says.
Think less cutesy Halloween and more serious Halloween, Blackburn describes.
“We covered every surface with new wallpaper or updated various elements that make the room look different,” he says. “It definitely has more of a scary Halloween vibe and less of a fall pumpkin vibe.”
That is one of the goals for the ongoing pop-up bars, Blackburn says. “To make the room look and feel very different with each ideation of the pop-ups.”
Memorable Menu Options
Featured on the cocktail menu this time around are some fun Halloween-themed drinks, created by bar manager Mari Luffey.
Try a Vampire Kiss made with Absolut raspberry vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, lime, and a set of vampire teeth as a garnish for $14.95. The Smokey Black Widow, also $14.95, is made with Ilegal Mezcal, Chambord, lime, and orange with a black salt rim.
The Witch That Stole My Heart is a shareable option that serves two and is made with Tito’s vodka, black cherry nectar, ginger beer, lime juice, activated charcoal, and dry ice. It’s $19.95 and comes with a practical warning not to eat the dry ice.
Nightmare on the Avenue offers shareable small bites with names like Serial Killer wings, Nightmare nachos, or Blair Witch burger sliders.
And why not end the night with something sweet like pumpkin cheesecake or a souvenir candy basket full of treats?
Celebrating the Season
Blackburn says the Del Ray pop-up chose to keep the Halloween and Christmas pop-ups as recurring themes since they are two major holidays that people celebrate as seasons.
“People love the seasonality of these popups, and they love Halloween,” he says. “Just driving around, look at the amount of effort people put into just decorating their houses or porches for the holiday. That just goes to show that this is something people want.”
Nightmare on the Avenue runs through November 5.
Customers are encouraged to showcase their Halloween spirit and don costumes, however, it is not mandatory.
“It is still relatively early in the Halloween season, but customer participation is always a plus,” says Blackburn. “It’s a great way to jumpstart your Halloween spirit and get ready for the season.”
The pop-up opens at 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays but is closed on Mondays. 2312 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
Feature image of Nightmare nachos and Vampire Kiss cocktail courtesy Nightmare on the Avenue
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