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'Blitzen,' a new Christmas pop-up in Scranton

A pop-up Christmas bar is opening Friday in Scranton, and Newswatch 16's Elizabeth Worthington got a sneak peek.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Designer Dallas Shaw put the finishing touches on Blitzen — both the reindeer head and the bar itself — ahead of opening night in Scranton.

Blitzen, the bar, is a concept she brought to Delaware four years ago.

"People are just so happy here. We're very lucky to have created something that, I don't know, people are smiling the whole time. We have to kick them out," Shaw said.

The Scranton native came home to turn Lackawanna College's student-run restaurant — 409 on Adams — into a holiday pop-up bar.

The culinary students who cook, bake, and serve saw their classroom transformed into a Christmas wonderland.

"I was very excited for Blitzen, especially because I love Christmas, but they definitely went beyond all my expectations with this bar," Krista Scoblick said.

"Literally, not even the walls are the same. It's completely covered head to toe —wallpaper, lights, Christmas trees, decorations. Everything's different," Shelly Holena said.

409 on Adams was still fully operating until a week ago, meaning Shaw only had days to deck the halls.

But this is not your average holiday bar because Blitzen is not your average reindeer.

"He doesn't like Rudolph, thinks he's lazy. Santa Claus gets all the credit. Mrs. Claus does all the work. He's got a little bit of a crush on Mrs. Claus," Susan Markovich said.

"We like to say that he's Santa's least favorite reindeer. He is an absolute bachelor for sure," Shaw said.

"What we're doing right now, we're starting the risotto for our signature dish, which is the Red Nose Bite. The Red Nose Bite is a Nashville hot chicken arancini," said chef Mark Seibert.

But for the students, it's a taste of the real world, a world they'll soon be entering as chefs and bakers, like Shelly Holena whose college career actually began in Lackawanna's diagnostic medical ultrasound program.

"I started in 2019, and I just decided to change my major. Like I've always just done it as a hobby ever since high school, and I want to do it forever," Holena said.

Her run at Blitzen will only last until December 23, so come out Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight.

It's for adults over 21 only after 9 p.m. No reservations are needed; it's first come, first served.

Antlers Up 🦌 Blitzen opens today!!!! 5pm-midnight, be there Blitzes! 🥃🎄

Posted by 409 on Adams at Lackawanna College on Friday, November 11, 2022

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