Adriana Salame—a.k.a. “Pop-Up Bae” in the bar world—is the design mastermind behind some of DC’s best holiday bars, including a six-year run at Shaw’s insanely popular Miracle on Seventh Street (RIP). But when it came time to transform Maxwell Park in Navy Yard into a holiday paradise as she did last year, Salame admits she “wasn’t super inspired.” Then Taylor Swift’s new album dropped, TikTok filled with dancers strutting to “Bejeweled,” and Salame’s creative Christmas juices started flowing.
The music video’s Cinderella theme snowballed. Aspiazu jumped next to Netflix’s Christmas Prince, which led to visions of a royal Christmas with the Queen and a palace surrounded by jewels, which led to a massive shopping binge on sparkly things (plastic rhinestones, pendants, crystal, glass, and glitter). The bejeweled, Queen Swift-inspired Christmas Bar was born.
All of Salame’s pop-ups are designed with a social media moment baked in—cue the Iron Throne at Drink Company’s Game of Thrones pop-up (the chair that launched a thousand Instagram posts). For Bejeweled Christmas Bar by Maxwell Park, that thing is a glittering strut spot where “the gays and the girlies” can mimic Swift’s dance. And of course, Swift’s music will be played on repeat, layered with Christmas pop playlists.
“There’s always been that filter on Instagram that makes everything sparkling. I’m trying to light that filter on fire,” says Salame.
Of course, no Christmas bar would be complete without hot cocktails, eggnog shots, and other festive fare. Maxwell Park owner Brent Kroll says he channeled a “Christmas-in-the-sun” vibe for his menu. Patrons can sip a Snow on the Beach, a spicy riff on a tequila-and-grapefruit Paloma, or power up with an espresso martini. There are also more traditional holiday drinks like hot gluhwein, peppermint shooters, spiked whipped cream, and a full roster of Maxwell Park bubbles and wines. To eat, chef Bart Hutchins designed a menu of fun riffs on Christmas party fare like caviar “bumps,” truffled grilled cheese, pigs in blankets, goose pie, and eggnog panna cotta.
Revelers are welcome to drop by, but groups can also book four outdoor Candy Cane Greenhouses that are decked out with electric heaters ad speakers playing Christmas music. Reservations are $100 per person and include a welcome food and beverage package. Taylor Swift may be ghosting DC on her concert schedule, but she’ll still be here in holiday spirit.
Bejeweled Christmas Bar by Maxwell Park. 1346 Fourth St., SE.
Take a first look at the menu here: