Oh deer! Blitzen ready to fly with holiday cheer at pop-up lounge
SCRANTON, PA (November 9, 2022) – Move over, Rudolph. Blitzen’s comin’ to town.
Lackawanna College’s student-run restaurant, 409 on Adams, will become Blitzen the Bar this holiday season, with Scranton native, owner and creative developer Dallas Shaw.
Open to the public on Friday, Nov. 11, the space will play host to this holiday pop-up restaurant and bar, aptly named after one of Santa Claus’ reindeer. Blitzen will then remain open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 5 p.m. to midnight, through Friday, Dec. 23.
Entry to Blitzen is first-come, first-served and reservations will not be taken, so guests should plan to get there early. It’s also not a traditional sit-down restaurant, but features limited seating and lounge spaces. Throughout Blitzen’s run, Lackawanna’s Kiesendahl School of Hospitality students will serve up a full menu of Christmas-themed cocktails, small plates and desserts.
Mark Seibert, certified executive chef, certified culinary educator and culinary arts program manager, created the menu (which he likened to a “pub menu”) said that just like 409 on Adams, the culinary arts students work on the dishes; pastry students create the desserts and breads, and hospitality students run the house.
And Shaw, who created the original Blitzen concept in Wilmington, Delaware, will bring her talents to 409 on Adams, transforming the space into “Blitzen’s Den,” with decor, furniture and more, to create the cozy, cool atmosphere.
A Scranton High School and Marywood University graduate, Shaw is an artist, fashion illustrator, project designer, creative director and brand ambassador. Her love of style and aesthetic led her from working as a Disney World artist to a career in the fashion world, collaborating with names such as Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta and Dior. In addition to fashion, Shaw also has lended her talents to brands across jewelry, beauty, home and travel, and published her book, “The Way She Wears It” in 2017. Shaw did each illustration and all of the styling for the book, which helps readers craft and curate their own personal style.
After traveling for work, Shaw sought to find a project that kept her closer to home for the holidays in 2019. Finding a space in Wilmington, Shaw wanted to put her own creative spin on the holiday “pop-up” bar and created Blitzen, which saw massive success in Delaware.
Shaw’s mom used to work at Lackawanna and Shaw and Stephanie Decker, the college’s associate vice president of social and economic impact, connected to get Blitzen to Scranton.
Decker said the school of hospitality is always looking for innovative ideas and unique experiences for its students. Something like Blitzen will not only benefit the students, but also can boost the economic development and exposure of the city. They’re also excited to work with Shaw.
“We’re thrilled to bring this immersive bar and restaurant experience to Dallas’ hometown of Scranton,” Decker said.
While Shaw had been to other “pop-up” holiday bars in the past, she noticed that decorations and lights were hung, but the atmosphere didn’t feel festive. She thinks of Blitzen as much more than just a “pop-up.”
“I always kind of thought that, if I were ever going to do something like this, I want it to be and feel super authentic,” she said. “It needs to have a story.”
So, Shaw created the story of Blitzen, which allows guests to enter the den where the famous, mysterious and slightly cocky reindeer spends his time in the off-season. He thinks Rudolph’s overrated and has a crush on Mrs. Claus. Filled with antiques, seasonal decor, and cozy, luxurious textures and fabrics, each and every detail of the space tells the guest about Blitzen’s life and personality.
The furniture, artwork and decorations are intentional, Shaw said, and the perfect backdrop for guests’ social media feeds. More so, Blitzen is the ideal way to bask in the holiday season. She took some cues from her time with Disney, citing the way the theme park’s attractions, restaurants, hotels and shops are meticulously planned out to the tiniest detail, in order to immerse the guest in whatever magical world the space is trying to create. She channeled this inspiration into curating the pieces for Blitzen to have an authentic look and feel. She also put heart and soul behind it, so that guests aren’t just at a night out — they’re enveloped in a whole experience.
“You’re in line (for a Disney ride) and even though you’re waiting for two hours, it goes by so fast because there are so many things to look at, so many pieces to discover that make it all feel so real,” she said. “That’s exactly the vision for Blitzen. There’s great food and cocktails, but there’s always something new you’ll discover the more you visit.”
Read the original article from the Times-Tribune by Gia Mazer.