Christmas bar with 100,000 holiday lights opens in Columbia

This Dec. 2, 2021 photo shows Main Street in Columbia, S.C., the temporary home of Miracle on Main pop-up Christmas bar. (Tracy Glantz/The State via AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — As it turns out, sometimes a cocktail goes down just a little easier when you are surrounded by 100,000 Christmas lights.

The holiday season has arrived at 1556 Main St. in Columbia, where the Miracle on Main pop-up Christmas bar has set up shop and plans to run through at least the end of December. The festive bar is in the former location of the Main Street Public House.

In early 2022, that location will become a new spot for an expansion of Prohibition, a popular Charleston bar. But for now, the owners of the Prohibition concept have turned the establishment at the corner of Main and Taylor streets into a full-on holiday scene. It’s part bar, part Yuletide attraction, and seems ready-made for all of your Instagram posting needs.

Columbia’s Miracle on Main is one of a number of bars across the U.S., Canada and Europe that have adopted the Miracle brand for the holiday season.

William Cauthen is an operations manager for the Prohibition Restaurant Group and helped put together the Columbia Miracle on Main setup. Cauthen said it will run through at least Dec. 31, though he said it could extend a bit into January, if there is a demand.

“The buzz in the community has been great,” Cauthen said. “Everybody has been super happy when they come in here and super excited about it. Business has been good, and we have a feeling that, the closer we get to Christmas, the busier we’ll be. But it’s been a good time.”

While there are a number of standard drinks available at the bar, the stars of the Miracle show are about a dozen Christmas-themed cocktails, which are served in a variety of ornate holiday vessels depicting, among other things, Santa’s head, a Christmas carol barrel, or a T-Rex in a Santa hat.

And the cocktails are named for the season, some of them nodding at popular holiday movies. For instance, there’s the Bad Santa, which incorporates aged Jamaican rum, velvet falernum, mixed spice butter, oat milk and nutmeg.

Another cocktail offering is the Yippie Ki Yay Mother F—–, named for the infamous line in 1988’s “Die Hard,” an action blowout that has, perhaps improbably, become a holiday cinema staple. That drink is made with Barbados rum, rhum agricole, overproof rum, ube and coconut orgeat, and acid-adjusted pineapple juice.

Miracle on Main also has a modest food menu, which includes pizza, salads, sandwiches and appetizers. The bar currently opens at 4 p.m. daily, but beginning Monday, Dec. 6, the opening time will move up to 11 a.m.

Cauthen said getting the Columbia Miracle decked out in all of its holiday decorations was a labor of love.

“We tried out some professional designers and weren’t happy with the results, so we kind of went to Lowe’s and Home Depot and bought everything we could and spent a week doing it ourselves,” he said.

Miracle on Main beverage director Jason Davis said he has marveled at customers’ reactions when they hit the door of the color-splashed holiday watering hole.

“People are awestruck when they walk in the door,” Davis said. “They are taking photos constantly. The response has been overwhelmingly positive from people in the city. People are, generally, instantly in a good mood when they come in.”