Stranger Things is a love letter to 80s nostalgia, complete with bowl cuts, ill-fitting jeans, Spielberg-esque monsters, bicycle getaway scenes, and Foreigner songs. But now that it's been more than a year since its first season was released (and news just dropped that the show will be renewed for a third season), fans have been starting to get a sentimental longing for the series itself.
Thankfully, season two—set to drop on October 27—is drawing near, and Chicagoans can build their anticipation (and reminisce all the way back to their binge-watching days of July 2016) in an elaborately decorated new pop-up bar at the Emporium.
Appropriately named "The Upside Down," the bar opened on Friday and incorporates tons of recognizable scenery and props from the show. To drop another Spielberg reference, it appears to have "spared no expense" in replicating the Christmas-light-laden moodiness of Joyce's living room, the swampy creepiness of the Upside Down, and even the vaguely threatening chain-link fencing surrounding Hawkins National Laboratory.
Start by entering through Castle Byers…
…Trespass onto the Department of Energy's restricted property…
And then get drunk, duh. The cocktails don't sound half bad, either, such as the Mouthbreather (gin with caramelized pineapple, lime, Ancho Reyes liqueur, and "hellfire shrub") and the "She's Our Friend & She's Crazy" (reposado tequila with amaretto, lemon, and strawberry).
The bar's namesake, a.k.a. the spooky alternate dimension inhabited by the Demagorgon on the show, is also on site too, naturally. A stage at the front is set up like the school's AV club and according to the Emporium, will feature "occasional musical performances from some very special mystery guests."
If you work up an appetite while listening to all of those dark synths and downing a few Mouthbreathers and Snack Packs, switch to an Eleven's Eggo slushie—it comes garnished with a piece of toasted waffle.
If your pining for simpler times still isn't satiated, the Emporium also features an arcade with tons of throwback games, from TRON to Terminator 2: Judgment Day to Twilight Zone pinball (although sadly, no Dragon's Lair, as featured in the season two trailer).
The pop-up runs until the end of September—at which point you'll have a mere month left before you can lock yourself in your apartment and watch nine straight hours of middle schoolers playing Dungeons & Dragons, listening to New Wave, and fighting demons—and is open until 2 AM most nights and 3 AM on Saturday nights. Did we mention that there's a Barb-themed Jägermeister machine?
Just try not to get so turnt that you end up quite literally in the Upside Down, staring at the plates of Eggos on the ceiling.