Come for the cocktails, stay for the over 125-year-old cabin decorated in sparkly Christmas decorations.

The Old Log Theatre, located at 5185 Meadville Street in Excelsior, will once again be transforming the quaint cabin on the property into the Jingle Bar, a pop-up Christmas-themed cocktail bar, through Dec. 23. The bar is open Thursdays from 4-10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 4-11 p.m.

“It’s gaudy, it’s tacky, it’s over-decorated, it’s something you wouldn’t do in your house — or maybe you would,” said Maureen Kvam, director of sales and marketing at Old Log Theatre.

The cocktail bar features standing tables with limited seating and can fit about 50 people at a time. No reservations will be accepted and patrons must be 21+ to enter.

“There’s usually a line out the door,” said Marissa Frankenfield, who has owned Old Log Theatre with her husband Greg since 2013. “Last year was the first time I ever saw party buses, that made me a little nervous.”

To be ensured a spot inside the historic cabin, eager cocktail drinkers will sometimes wait in the restaurant for the Jingle Bar to open at 4 p.m, according to Frankenfield. No food is served in the cabin, but the adjoining Cast & Cru restaurant will be open throughout cocktail bar hours.

For those who are waiting to get inside, or want to enjoy some fresh air, heaters will be put up outside and the fire pit will be ablaze.

Kvam and Frankenfield also encourage taking advantage of Old Log Theatre’s current shows “The Princess and the Pea” and “Once Upon a Mattress,” as well as the vocal stylings of Colleen Ray on Dec. 21 at Cast & Cru.

“This is just another opportunity to enjoy the season, meet up and have a cocktail and look at the gaudy decorations that are up,” Kvam said.

WHIMSY DECORATING

For Kvam and Frankenfield, decorating the cabin is a nostalgic experience as a lot of the decorations used to belong to their children.

“We took all of our old Christmas decorations and brought them here,” Kvam said. “We have Santa Bears up here… Marissa has her snowmen collection… we took old lights, our ornaments, and if people give us old ornaments, I’ll put them up.”

From an abundance of Santas and a cheerful holiday Kermit the Frog strategically placed in a frame from the prop shop, there is always something new for the eye to land on. “We’ve kind of had fun making things up every year,” said Kvam, who noted that the space changes a bit from year to year.

“Everybody’s excited,” Kvam said. “The staff gets excited because they come to work out here and it’s a fun environment. People are very happy and there’s a lot of interaction and good cheer.”

The sparkly décor and roaring fireplace also make for a great holiday photo opportunity. There will also be a selfie frame for everyone to use.

“It’s a really good photo op thing,” Frankenfield said. “We’ve actually had people who have just come here to take a family Christmas picture.”

While the two have had fun doing other themed pop-up cocktail bars in the cabin in the past, they have been less successful because of the time of year.

“The reason this came up and the reason we continue to do it is because everybody’s very social, everybody’s coming to visit one another or trying to get together and meet and spend some quality time with your friends and family this time of year,” Kvam said. “So many people are out there looking for something to do and it’s like, well, stop by, have a cocktail and then continue on.”

While the two are exhausted by the overboard decorating process, it’s all worth it.

“We get to meet our customers out here in a more casual environment,” Frankenfield said. “It’s kind of a fun, intimate community kind of thing. Maureen and I love doing it.”

PRIVATE EVENTS

For those who may celebrate Christmas with family after the holidays have passed, or simply want to soak up the holiday cheer, private bookings can be made throughout the month of January with all the spunky decorations up.

“It’s a beautiful place to come in and just have a private event,” Kvam said.

The cabin can be booked for private events throughout the rest of the year as well — without the garland and gingerbread men hanging from the ceiling.

“We’ve had baby showers here, weddings, brides have used this as a place where they get dressed,” Frankenfield said. “My son’s wife did that. We’ve had tons of weddings on this property.”

Catering from the restaurant can be available for such private events.

Events