Dallas-Fort Worth's coolest holiday bar phenomenon is back: Rooftop "bubble bars" featuring cozy igloos are returning, with installations at three area hotels.
Rooftop igloo bars are a trend that first bubbled up in DFW in 2019, then surged in 2020 during the cautious pandemic days, when people were trying to find ways to be social during coronavirus times, before blossoming into their own full-blown sizzling-hot thing.
Also referred to as garden igloos, these "bubbles" are like plastic caves, like a geodesic dome, where you can hang out and imbibe under the winter sky, protected by your bubble from the elements.
Three locations have set the stage for bubble bars in 2021, including one in Historic Downtown Grapevine and two in downtown Dallas, as follows:
The 120-room boutique hotel in downtown Grapevine that's home to Bacchus Kitchen + Bar and Harvest Hall brings back their rooftop "bubbles," located on the Rioja Rooftop Terrace, the hotel's fourth-floor terrace bar.
They'll debut on November 26.
They have eight bubbles total. Each seats up to 6-8 guests. They come with blankets and heaters to keep your party warm, and if you want service, you press a button and the bubbles light up to alert hotel staff.
This year, they've formalized with three official options:
- Happy Hour Bubble, 4-5 pm. Bring your bubble to our bubbles for a one-hour experience to enjoy drinks and fondue! We get you started with a bottle of Seguras Viudas Heredad Cava. $100
- Two-Hour Bar Bubble, 5:30 or 8 pm. Same as the happy hour bubble, just more time to enjoy your bubble.
- Full Dining Bubble, 5:30 or 8 pm. Seasonally inspired three-course dinner, comes with a bottle of wine. Dinner is $150 per person, with a minimum of 4 guests.
You can make your reservation online at www.opentable.com/r/rioja-rooftop-bar-grapevine.
Waterproof, the rooftop bar on the 19th floor of the Statler Dallas hotel in downtown Dallas, pioneered the rooftop igloo bar in Dallas in 2019, and brings it back for 2021 with a thematic twist.
Dubbed "Winterproof," the installation will observe a ski lodge theme: The bartenders will be "ski instructors" and the waitresses will be "ski bunnies," while the interior will have a ski-lodge-like decor.
The igloos, called Snow Clouds, come in two sizes — one large and three not-as-large — as follows:
- Large Snow Cloud can accommodate a party of eight. Nicknamed "Cloud 19," it starts at $500 for two hours.
- Small Snow Clouds fit two to four people and begin at $300 for two hours.
The igloos must be reserved in advance, and there's a two-hour minimum. Make reservations here.
Miracle on Commerce
Illuminated igloos return to The Adolphus hotel in downtown Dallas, who are transforming their rooftop into a winter wonderland, with cozy cabins, illuminated igloos, warm boozy cocktails, and tableside smores, as part of the hotel's much larger annual celebration of the holidays.
The igloos debuted November 17 and will be available through January 30.
Their poolside cabanas are now poolside "cabins" with miniature hearths, and they have 8 igloos ready for groups to reserve. They'll also bring back their miniature curling rink, for that Winter Olympics vibe.
Igloos and cabins are available by reservation only, Wednesday-Saturday nights, with two seatings:
Early (4-7:30 pm)
- Small Cabins (2 - 4 people) - $200 rental comes with one bottle of Sparkling Wine
- Large Cabins (2 - 8 people) - $350 rental comes with two bottles of Sparkling Wine
- Igloo (2 - 4 people) - $300 rental comes with a bottle of Premium Sparkling Wine
Late (8 pm to "late")
- Small Cabins (2 - 4 people) - $300 rental comes with one bottle of Sparkling Wine
- Large Cabins (2 - 8 people) - $450 rental comes with two bottles of Sparkling Wine
- Igloo (2 - 4 people) - $400 rental comes with a bottle of Premium Sparkling Wine
A special holiday menu will include spirited holiday cocktails such as the Honey Bear Eggnog and Kentucky Hot Coco, plus bite-sized snacks such as Merry Mac & Cheese Balls and Señor Santo’s Tamale Bites.
Additional seating areas are open on a first-come, first-serve basis. So you can come and watch other people having fun inside their igloos. Maybe stand right outside and gaze in longingly.
Stephanie Allmon Merry contributed to this story.