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    Christmas comes but once a year, and so does the Miracle bar in NuLu. For the past five years, Thor Morgan, who owns Galaxie in the Green Building, and his business partner, Doug Petry, have been franchising the holiday-themed pop-up bar, which has about 50 to 60 locations nationally. We talked to Morgan about transforming Galaxie into a delightfully tacky (and boozy) holiday experience.

    How did Miracle get started?

    “In 2014 some guys from a cocktail bar called Mace in New York were about to open but basically had the month of December before opening. One of their mothers suggested they do a Christmas bar in the space during that time. They did it again the next year and already had a couple other bars interested in doing it, so they franchised it.”
     

    How do you transform the Green Building into the festive Miracle on Market?

    “The decorating goal is to go above and beyond. Some (decorations) come from online, but a lot of it is hitting up holiday shops. We set aside almost three weeks for decorating this year. Lots of wrapping paper and lots of Christmas lights. What we do differently than a lot of the other pop-ups is the entryway of the Green Building. It’s a three-story, open-ceiling entryway, so we put up a 14 foot live Christmas tree, which is pretty fun to decorate. And 14-feet may sound big or not big, but it’s huge. It’s like the tree on top of Griswold’s car. This year the plan is to get a second tree and put it in our outdoor space, OUTERspace, and grow Miracle out there a little bit. It’s the only bar I’ve been to or been a part of where everyone from 21 to 71 is interested. You have younger people coming in saying, ‘Oh, my mom will love this!’ or ‘OMG, my grandma would love this!’”
     

    How many different holiday cocktails do you make?

    “This year there are going to be 10 cocktails and three specialty Christmas shots. Probably the most famous is the Snowball Old Fashioned. That’s got caramelized pecan bourbon, spiced molasses syrup, wormwood bitters and orange essence. It’s served over a crushed-ice snowball.”
     

    Miracle is known for the kitschy holiday glassware. Which are your favorites?

    Photo by Chris Witzke

    “There’s the Santa pants mug and the mug shaped like Santa winking. This year there’s an entirely new one for a new cocktail called the SanTaRex, which to put it simply is rye whiskey, sherry, spiced apple cider, lemon, hard cider and baked apple bitters. It’s served in this T-Rex mug that has a Santa hat. There’s also a mistletoe shot glass that looks like a big toe.”
     

    Do you have any holiday traditions aside from Miracle on Market?

    “One of my family’s traditions was that my mom and dad would always get my aunt and uncle a nice bottle of whiskey for our annual Christmas Eve party. They would always do a toast and a shot on Christmas Eve, and that was like the first time I ever tried liquor.”

     

     

    This originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Louisville Magazine under the headline “Miracle on Market.” To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Cover photo: Miracle on Market // Facebook

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    About Katie Molck

    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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