Santa Rex is coming to (down)town! A Christmas Miracle at The Ordinarie

A giant inflatable Santa archway you can walk through leads to paper snowflakes, glittery baubles and miniature sleighs dangling just above your head. Twinkling Christmas lights strung, wound and hung from every corner and festive wrapping paper and colorful tinsel covering nearly every surface. And that’s not even the half of it.

“Think the cheesiest, kitchy-est Christmas holiday party you’ve ever been to,”  said Christy Caldwell, owner of The Ordinarie, and you’ve got the spectacle that is the Downtown restaurant and bar during the holidays.

Created by Jaime Caldwell, Christy’s wife, nearly every inch of the tavern has been decked out in some of the most excessive and delightfully over-the-top holiday decorations. It’s not because the couple are Christmas fanatics, although they certainly do love the season, but because of a special partnership with Miracle Pop-Up, a Christmas-themed pop-up service that provides bars with original, specialty holiday cocktails on one condition: They decorate the hell out of their space.

After a successful reception last year, Caldwell knew he wanted to bring Miracle back to The Ordinarie, but anticipating a resurgence of restaurant restrictions, he pivoted to bring all the holiday cheer (and delicious libations) to-go.

Now, patrons are invited to walk through the decorated bar, which has been organized in a maze-like structure that guides guests through the done-up display. Since only one party is allowed to enter the bar at a time, guests are encouraged to scope, marvel and snap as many photos of themselves with the myriad decorations; some highlights include a gleaming Christmas tree, an inflatable Frosty and Santa T-Rex and, our personal favorite, the life-size cardboard cut out of Buddy the Elf.

All the festive cocktails, with their specialty mugs (sold separately), are back again this year, albeit some of the recipes and ingredients have been reimagined. The very popular Santa Rex, formerly a rye-based cocktail poured in a Santa-hat-wearing T-Rex mug, is now a minty, tequila concoction with Branca Menta, cacao blanc, mezcal, serrano, coconut and acid-adjusted pineapple.

The Santa Rex cocktail at Miracle at The Ordinarie. Photo by Brian Addison.

The Bad Santa, enjoyed hot and poured into a grinning Santa mug, is now a mulled red wine and tawny port blend, zinged with orange liqueur and Christmas spices. And, for the traditionalists, there’s the Jingle Balls Nog, a creamy cognac and sherry fused egg nog embellished with nutmeg.

The Jingle Bell Nog and Bad Santa cocktails at Miracle at The Ordinarie menu. Photo by Brian Addison.

With 10 cocktails and three specialty shots, there’s plenty of libations to pick and choose from. All of the drinks are sent home pre-made, with garnishes and seasonings packaged separately for you to spice to your liking. Just interested in the darling mugs? You can purchase those online or in-person and pick-up directly from the bar.

For more information including menu and pricing, visit The Ordinarie’s website, here. Guests can order online or in-person at The Ordinarie; 210 The Promenade N. Hours are 4 to 9:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 12 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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Cheantay Jensen is reporter and award-winning videographer who covers entertainment, art, food and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post. And sometimes breaking news, you know, just to keep things interesting.
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