Everyone has a side hustle these days, and Santa’s reindeer are no different. (Hey, their only steady gig lasts only one night a year.)
Donner and Blitzen’s Reindeer Lounge is the latest addition to New York City’s holiday bar scene, opening Dec. 1 at 197 E. Third St. between avenues A and B.
The decor inside the East Village bar looks as if all the twinkle lights wrapped around the trees and houses in suburbia had been brought inside instead; let’s call it Enthusiastic Dad.
The space is more like being inside your family’s living room than a bar — those reindeer sure know how to keep it cozy — and bigger than most seasonal bars, with couches, quilts and no fewer than three fireplaces.
Behind the bar is Sarah Boisjoli, formerly of Estela, shaking up cocktails like Rudolph’s So Bitter (Campari, vodka, raspberry cordial), Feliz Navidad (tequila, Kahlua, rum), Elf Nog (fernet, creme de menthe, cacao, cream) and Festivus Mulled Wine (red wine, brandy, cider, spices).
The entirety of the menu is “fancy grilled cheese” — probably a rebellion against the strict diet Santa’s reindeer have to go on before the big flight.
The festive tunes on the radio will only be interrupted by DJs after 10 p.m. on weekends.
While the decidedly unseasonal weather holds (and beyond, if you’re hardy) there’s also an outdoor patio decorated with a mural called Reindeer Playing Poker by Off The Wall Graffiti founder Paul Nassar. No cheating — Santa’s watching.
Donner & Blitzen’s Reindeer Lounge will be open through Jan. 1. Drink responsibly — you know what happens to deer who get wild in this city.
Donner & Blitzen’s Reindeer Lounge is open Mon-Thurs, 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Fri 4 p.m.-4 a.m., Sat noon-4 a.m. and Sun noon-2 a.m. For more information, call 212-254-9184; for reservations, contact [email protected].