A special pop-up with a Halloween theme is hitting nine bars across the U.S., including one in the Dallas-Fort Worth area: Called Black Lagoon, it's an immersive Halloween pop-up bar concept that will hit nine U.S. cities this fall, and that includes Nickel City, the Fort Worth outlet of the Austin-based neighborhood bar chain.
According to a release, Black Lagoon is a horror experience created by industry veterans Erin Hayes (Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles and Chicago's Lost Lake) and Kelsey Ramage (Trash Collective and Supernova, opening soon in Toronto). Here they are in a photo, looking very spooky Morticia.
They first debuted the concept in Toronto in 2021; it was subsequently crowned Best Pop-Up Bar in Canada, although that could also be that Canadians are easily impressed. Jury is still out.
The release says that Nickel City will be transformed into a wicked environment, with decor cues taken from goth culture and cult horror, such as House of 1,000 Corpses, including skulls and life-sized coffins. You're encouraged to wear costumes.
"Kelsey and I both love the metal/goth/horror bars and those spots really inspired Black Lagoon, but they are more beer-and-a-shot places," says Hayes in a statement. "With our background in the spirits world, we wanted to pay extra attention to make sure our [cocktails are] as tasty as they are blood curdling."
The drinks menu is built around Halloween hues with beverages that are blood red, the darkest black, and eerie orange, to include:
- Screaming Banshee, with gin, Giffard L'Abricot, pineapple syrup and Greek yogurt
- Lilith's Cup, with Mount Gay Black Barrel, Aperol, vermouth, passionfruit syrup, and glitter
- Closed Casket, with Bruichladdich Classic, St. Remy, Giffard L'Abricot, passionfruit syrup, and miso ferlernum
- Hellraiser, with Hornitos, Chairman’s spiced rum Cointreu, and spiced oat orgeat
Cocktails will be served in custom glassware, which is always a big thing with these pop-up bars. Said glassware will also be for sale, which is also a big thing with these pop-up bars.
Musically, the playlist will feature a subtle hardcore vibe, throwing in punk and metal along with a soundtrack of eerie noises.
Located at 212 S. Main St. in Fort Worth, Nickel City is a favorite DFW destination for holiday-themed pop-up bars, having previously hosted the very similar-in-concept Miracle, a Christmas-themed pop-up of national scope both in 2020 and in 2021.
"We wanted markets that have vibrant countercultures so patrons who are likely to enjoy our immersive vibe will come and feel right at home," says Hayes.
The full list of bars includes:
- Chicago: The Dandy Crown in partnership with Hospitality 201
- Portland: Hey Love
- Los Angeles: Lost Property Bar
- Dallas/Fort Worth: Nickel City
- Denver: Yacht Club
- NY: Our Wicked Lady
- Montreal: 132 Bara Vintage
- Vancouver: Butcher & Bullock
- Toronto: Third Space
The pop-up begins in September and they're hosting a special preview on Sunday, September 4 which is open to the public from 6-10 pm.
Black Lagoon is about celebrating a spooky holiday but the pop-up is also about creating a safe space for those who may not feel at ease in every cocktail bar.
"We want this to be a space for the weird, for the misfits and the goths," Hayes says.
"As an adult, this concept embraces my inner goth metal kid who just loved Halloween," says her partner Ramage. "We just want to let people have fun and experience true freedom from judgment."