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Tis the season to shroud oneself in mystery, embrace the inky dark of night and revel in the terrors of the year’s creepiest month. Halloween is almost here, and this year it brings a new, horror-themed pop-up guaranteed to help you celebrate every spook and singular scare. Opening Oct. 14, the Black Lagoon pop-up promises ghastly (but delicious) cocktails, an immersive, eerie escape and, above all, a ghoulishly-good time.
Brought to life by industry vets Erin Hayes and Kelsey Ramage, Black Lagoon is a reincarnation of the duo's 2019 pop-up held at The Dungeon in New Orleans. But be warned—this year’s event promises to be “bigger, creepier and louder than ever,” according to the Black Lagoon website.
Chicago native Hayes, now based in Los Angeles, is a partner and vice president of trade advocacy for Westward Whiskey Distillery. Toronto-based Ramage is a co-founder of the Trash Collective, and has worked on several projects, including Supernova Ballroom and Dolly Trolley Drinks, a recently-departed cocktail delivery service founded in 2020.
“[Erin Hayes] and I have been low-key working on this project for well over a year now,” wrote Ramage in a recent Instagram post. “[I]t's all finally coming together! After one of the shittest years in history, we're putting together the Halloween pop-up of our bestest nightmares.”
Inspired by “the pulpy, playful and gloriously strange cults of horror, goth and metal,” Black Lagoon will feature “nightly performances, creep shows, and a mysterious back room,” according to the website. Decked out with skulls, coffins, creeping vines and more, the space includes a witch’s lair and a graveyard of doom haunted by the living dead.
Featured cocktails—each one gloriously on-theme and wickedly decadent—are just the thing to calm frayed nerves. Opt for The Darkness and sip on a fizzy mix of Sombra Mezcal, Tequila Tromba, aloe, lime and Scrappy Black Lemon Bitters. Or dampen your deepest, darkest desires with the Bloodlust, an “apothecary-style sour” made from The Botanist Gin, Amaro Lucano, haskap honey, lemon and egg whites.
Non-alcoholic drinks will also be on offer, along with vegan and allergy-friendly options. Nibbles will include popcorn, cookies and, naturally, Halloween candy.
Visit Black Lagoon from Oct. 14 right up to Oct. 31 at 866 Bloor Street West between 5 p.m. and 2 a.m. Just remember to dress accordingly; disguised guests will be granted free admission while their plain-clothes friends will be charged $20 to enter on weekends and nights with live entertainment.