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‘Tis the season for merriment, Chicago-style! Around this time of year, it’s difficult to forget the imminent holidays, thanks to city-wide cheer. The streets are lined with bell-ringers, trees beam with twinkling lights, and store windows glitter with green and red décor. Hop on the El and find candy-cane upholstery. And let’s not talk about the number of times we’ve heard “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.” One of my favorite aspects of the holidays remains the energy of many bars. The decorations come out, the warm, tasty drinks roll in, and a happy atmosphere resonates. Rockit Bar & Grill, one of my favorite stomping grounds, has this holiday tradition down. I caught up with Josh Hauer, General Manager and Operating Partner at both Rockit Bar & Grill locations (River North and Wrigleyville) to chat about how Rockit celebrates the holidays.

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What is Rockit Bar & Grill like around the holidays? Rockit River North always becomes very festive during the Holiday Season. We hang wreaths, change our floral, have lights and decorate our antler chandeliers.

What holiday drink specials are you offering this time of year? At Rockit Wrigley we offer a delicious hot cider with your choice of brandy, whiskey or spiced rum for $6. This is great especially when the ice rink opens up around the corner at Wrigley Field so people can pop by after they skate and warm up!

Related: 12 Days Of Holiday Cocktails

Do you offer different specials from year to year? We always offer our signature cider at Wrigley, all winter long!

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How do you get your staff and bar-goers into the holiday spirit? The décor really gets people in the spirit and just the natural warm energy of the restaurant with our cozy booths and comfort food really makes it a great destination when people are cold…

Does your staff do something special together around the holidays? The staff loves to dress up, sometimes wearing Santa Clause hats and actually this year we’ve been discussing doing an “ugly holiday sweater” night to kick the holiday season off.

Does your typical clientele change around the holidays? Nothing in particular, but we do have a lot more private parties in our upstairs lounge, doing company/corporate holiday parties.

What is the best part about being a bartender at Rockit during the holiday season? Chicago definitely loves their cocktails during the holiday season and every bartender loves a busy bar!

Related: Best Winter Cocktails In Chicago

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What sort of tunes do you play during this season? We mix in some icon holiday rock.

Are there any special Rockit holiday traditions you can tell us about? Every Christmas Eve we have our Annual “Rock-Mitzvah” party which is always a hit with those in town that aren’t celebrating Christmas.

What drink is most popular at Rockit during the winter? At Rockit Wrigely, the hot cider for sure!

Related: Best Seasonal Drinks In Chicago

Amanda Look lives in Chicago and works for an academic association doing event coordination. She blogs about city living and never gets tired of exploring its neighborhoods and events.