As the great and wise Adam Sandler once pointed out, "There's a lot of Christmas songs out there and not too many Hanukkah songs." The men behind Ivy and Coney, a neighborhood bar for Chicago and Detroit expats, felt the same way about bars geared towards their Jewish brethren. After joking around about opening a Hanukkah bar for several years, the owners decided 2017 was their year, and will be opening a Hanukkah pop-up bar for the month of December in the Ivy and Coney space called "Chai-vy and Cohen-y."
"It just kept making us laugh and we kept adding things to it," says co-owner Josh Saltzman. "And then we stopped and said, 'Should we just do this thing for real? Ya, let's give it a try.'"
Of course, it's impossible not to wonder if the Hanukkah bar is a reaction to Derek Brown's Christmas-themed bar over on 7th Street, but rather than wonder, we just asked.
"We won't lie, that definitely was how the joke started for us," says Saltzman. "Adam and I have Jewish backgrounds and thought we need our own holiday bar as a response, and so Chai-vy and Cohen-y was born. But, to be clear, what Derek and his crew do is amazing. We really appreciate their creativity and hope everyone seeing this understands it's not us trolling them."
Guests can expect typical Hanukkah fare, such as as latkes, Matzoh ball soup, Manischewitz wine, and there will be plenty of dreidel spinning, chocolate gelt eating and gift giving to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
While we don't usually publish press releases in full, this one was sheer genius and it deserves to be shared with someone other than our inbox. Enjoy!
Ivy and Coney, located at 1537 7th St NW in historic Shaw, is proud to introduce the most important pop-up bar of the year, nay, in history, the amazing “Chai-vy and Cohen-y” Hanukkah Bar. From December 1st through New Year’s Eve of the year 5778 (that’s now, for all of you gentiles out there) , the Manischewitz shall flow, the dreidels shall spin, latkes shall be eaten. Guests can expect a winter wonderland of awe-inspiring decorations created for the 132nd most important holiday of the Jewish calendar, Hanukkah.
There may have been a miracle on 34th street, there may be aerial caribou bulking up for their annual appearance, and there may even be some major conifer deforestation. But, let’s not forget one key thing: before the boy born in the manger grew up to make furniture and miracles, he celebrated 8 WILD NIGHTS each December with us!
In honor of our holiday that lasts 8 times longer than Christmas AND involves actual fire (not just some wimpy string lights*), we’ve added delicious homemade potato latkes, matzoh ball soup, Manischewitz’s finest kosher wines, slivovitz (plum brandy), schnapps and maybe even a selection of He’Brew’s finest beers to the menu.
Each night we will be lighting the menorah for the Festival of Lights (December 12th through the 20th) and will be enjoying all the chocolate gelt, great gift giveaways (oh yes, fellow MOT**, there will be socks) and the most epic dreidel spinning competition this side of the Dead Sea. Competitors will go head to head to see who can keep the dreidel spinning the longest in our brand new Spinagogue™. Sign up before the 20th to see if you can beat competition favorites The Geltway Ganiff and Shlomo Shun 4 Me.
Most importantly, we will be unleashing the Kraken (sorry, it is treif) on the city in the form of ourcustom-made shot menorah. Standing two feet tall and a whopping sixteen feet long, the ShotNorah (patent pending probably) is designed for the enjoyment of nine guests at a time. Revelers may choose from a variable collection of classic spirits and holiday favorites to put in their flavor snouts. What more can we say? It’s gonna be a great time.
*due to safety precautions, we will be using wimpy string lights and not ACTUAL fire, but the sentiment remains.
**As a gentile, I had to ask what MOT stood for. Turns out it means "Member of the Tribe," as in, Jewish. "I knew I should've included a glossary," laughed Saltzman."
Schedule of Events
- December 1st: Opening Party
- December 12th: First day of Hanukkah = candle lighting and first gift for all guests
- December 13th-19th: Second through Seventh days of Hanukkah =candle lighting, gifts and raffles
- December 19th: Last Day of Hannukah = dreidel spinning competition, great gifts, prizes and fun
- December 25th: Bar closed out of respect for the holiest of holies, Chinese Food and Movie Day
- December 31st: Finish off all of the gelt, schnapps, latkes and matzoh ball soup and bring in the new year
Ivy and Coney, 1537 7th St NW, Monday- Thursday 4 p.m. - 2 a.m., Friday 4 p.m. - 3 a.m. Saturday 12 p.m. - 3 a.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. - 2 a.m.