Hanukkah pop-up Maccabee Bar returns to Ollie in West Village
The holiday season just got a little brighter as Maccabee Bar makes its return to Ollie in the West Village spreading festive cheer and Hanukkah vibes throughout Manhattan.
Founder Naomi Levy says the pop-up shows New Yorkers a different side of the holidays.
"We see a lot of holiday bars and different holiday events, but they tend to be more Christmas-centric. So, I thought wouldn't it be really fun if there was something totally dedicated to Hanukkah," said Levy.
The first Maccabee Bar popped up in Boston in 2018 with its name paying homage to the protagonists in the Hanukkah story. The Maccabees were a group of warriors who played a pivotal role in regaining Jewish rights and their temple.
"When they got the temple back, they needed to light the menorah. There was only a little oil left, and they said it’s never going to last. But the miracle of Hanukkah is that it lasted 8 days and 8 nights, all thanks to the Maccabees," Levy explained.
Stepping inside Ollie, the space is transformed with witty décor and dreidels scattered everywhere. The kitchen offers fun bites ranging from traditional latkes to doughnuts. At the bar, nine signature cocktails are crafted, each featuring unique and delightful flavors.
“We have ingredients like potatoes for our latka based cocktail or a drink that has a little cheese in it for Judith Maccabee,” said Levy.
"It is basically a riff on a New York Sour, using bourbon, a little simple syrup, and a feta syrup made from the brine, adding a salty, savory note," she added, referring to the Judith Maccabee cocktail.
Importantly Levy says the space is truly for everyone to enjoy, breaking down barriers.
"Given the divisiveness, not just with antisemitism and Islamophobia but on all sides politically within the Jewish community, this is a place for everyone to say let's check it at the door, let’s have a good time," said Levy.
Maccabee Bar will be open at Ollie in the West Village until Dec. 31. For more details, visit their website at www.maccabeebar.com.