Christmas Pop-Up Bar Closes Early In Annapolis


The Holly Jolly Hideaway, pictured above, closed last week in the Annapolis Town Center. The Christmas pop-up bar was supposed to be open until Saturday, Dec. 23. (Courtesy of the Annapolis Town Center)

ANNAPOLIS, MD - A Christmas pop-up bar closed two weeks early in the Annapolis Town Center. The Holly Jolly Hideaway plans to reopen next year in a larger space.

"In an effort to not dilute the customer experience, we decided it would be best to close on a high note,"Annapolis Town Center General Manager Christi Swanson told Patch in a Monday statement. "We are already reevaluating the experience with plans for a larger space in 2024."

The shopping center announced the closure last Tuesday, Dec. 12. It was supposed to be open Thursday, Dec. 14 through Sunday, Dec. 17 and Thursday, Dec. 21 through Saturday, Dec. 23.

"Due to an unexpected overwhelming turnout at the Holly Jolly Hideaway, we have decided to close early as well as move the location of Santa’s Cottage because of the strain on our facilities," Swanson said. "The festive spirit of our Holly Jolly Hideaway reached a peak, and it seems the secret got out, making it merrier than we could have imagined."

The Holly Jolly Hideaway was located across from P.F. Chang's. The bar was one floor above where Santa's cottage was originally located.

Some speculated that parents were upset that bargoers had to walk through Santa's cottage to reach the pub.

"I think a lot of people were complaining about the bar being where Santa was because of the kids," Whitney Stevens Kairos commented on a Town Center Facebook post. "I saw a lot of complaints on Facebook. Not sure if that is why."

Patch asked the town center if this contributed to the closure. The spokesperson did not answer this question and instead pointed to the high attendance.

"We understand the community is disappointed, and this early closure was not part of the plan," Swanson said. "The incredible response surpassed our expectations, and we share in the disappointment with everyone. Please know that we're already working to enhance and expand our experiential events in the future."

The pub opened on Nov. 17. It was decorated floor-to-ceiling with tinsel and wrapping paper. 

Each weekend had a theme, and there was karaoke or "carol-oke" on select days. The bar also featured holiday-inspired cocktails, Christmas movies on a projector screen and a sleigh for photos.

The closure upset some customers who planned on coming but never got the chance.

"Very disappointing considering this has been our holiday party plan for over a month and we all got babysitters for this Saturday and purchased holiday sweaters to wear to the hideaway," Annapolis resident Rob Miller commented.

Santa's cottage was closed Tuesday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 13. Affected families got to reschedule. Kris Kringle returned on Thursday, Dec. 14.

Santa Claus now visits with children in a new, larger space next to Tempurpedic. There is a coloring area for kids while they wait.

Santa is in town through Saturday, Dec. 23. Reservations are strongly encouraged but not required. More information is posted here.

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