The Loews Hotel bar is hosting not one but two popup bars.
Eggos, arcade games, and drinks that change color before your very eyes. Just in time for the season of trickery and disguise, Boston’s Precinct has done itself over as Hawkins, the fictional Midwestern town at the center of Netflix’s smash series Stranger Things.
Welcome to Hawkins
Summoning all the creepiness of the Upside Down and the warm nostalgia of the 1980s, Precinct’s popup is a near-immersive Hawkins experience, beginning with the bar’s subterranean patio. Even in the middle of a busy city, the spooky vibe out here is enough to send shivers up your spine.
Strands of overhead Christmas lights flicker and flash, hinting at a desperate message from another dimension. Steam oozes out of a fenced-off corner, a restricted area where sinister government scientists are busy covering up a supernatural discovery (the effect is diminished somewhat by a TV showing sports highlights).
The trusty bicycles of Mike, Will, Dustin, and Lucas are parked in another corner, while pumpkins – some painted to look like they’re rotting – add to the eerie ambience.
Things are a bit less menacing inside. You can try your hand at a few vintage arcade games while enjoying a mostly 80s soundtrack.
There’s also a replica of the Byers family living room where guests are invited to take selfies. Hopefully you don’t get photobombed by a Demogorgon bursting through the wall.
Precinct’s food and drink menu, meanwhile, is filled with clever references to the show. There’s a burger named for Benny, the friendly but ill-fated diner owner; a meatloaf TV dinner, served exactly the way you’d expect; and of course, a dish that would please the show’s beloved main character. Eleven’s sliders pack deep-fried chicken in between a malted waffle, served with maple bourbon butter.
Hawkins police chief Jim Hopper gets a namesake cocktail that appropriately reflects his fondness for coffee and cigarettes. Made with Illegal Joven mezcal, Patron Café, and cold brew, it’s served in a smoked glass container; once the smoke infuses the drink to your satisfaction, pop the top and pour it into a glass.
The 008 is named for a season two character who’s capable of inducing hallucinations. This striking purple drink combines Hendrick’s gin, mint, and simple syrup, and comes with a syringe of lime juice. Inject the lime, stir, and watch the purple change to pink.
The Stranger Things popup is open nightly through November 16.
The Bellhop Bar
Amid all the Hawkins fanfare, it’s almost easy to miss Precinct’s other popup.
The Bellhop Bar is a vintage steamer trunk serving pre-batched cocktails out of apothecary-style bottles, along with red and sparkling wine. If you’re a weary traveler looking for a drink, just approach the big trunk and tap the service bell.
The Mayflower is a riff on the Aviation, made with Hanger One vodka, crème de violette, and lavender syrup.
The Midnight Ride is like a spicy Old Fashioned, made with Angel’s Envy bourbon, Ancho Reyes, and vanilla and Peychaud’s bitters.
You can ring for service at the Bellhop bar between 5 and 7 p.m. through mid-January 2019.
Address: 154 Berkeley Street, Boston
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