PORTLAND, Maine — From the outside, windows decked in holiday cheer invite cold passersby into Vena's Fizz House. Inside you realize the lights are just the tip of the iceberg.
"Down to the glassware that’s impressive. I thought that was a really nice treat," says Shannon Dean, visiting from New Hampshire. Some cocktails are served in collectible mugs, others in vintage glasses.
Pam Stagg immediately recognized some of the collection lining the walls. "We were a little overwhelmed by all the Christmas [stuff]. The music; everything that in my lifetime I have had and have gotten rid of; but it’s all sitting here on a shelf."
Which is exactly the point of this "Miracle" cocktail bar takeover; a sense of Christmas wonder and nostalgia.
"I hope their eyes just widen and they are in awe and it evokes all of the memories they have from when they were kids going to their great-aunt's house for Christmas and there were ornaments and catchy little things on every nook and cranny," says Johanna Corman, who opened Vena's Fizz House with husband, Steve. From the knick knacks to the garland and ornaments... to the glassware, this probably did come from your grandmother's collection.
"Christmas craft fairs," Johanna laughs. "We have been scouring and scouring and we have so many treasures. We’ve had so much fun looking for the stuff."
Of course, one more aspect of the theme; something Steve and Johanna Corman have become known for here at Vena's - the cocktails. "It was pure joy," says Steve about finding the perfect combination for the cocktails and mocktails. "Just botanicals. I’m a bitter freak, but just to be making simple syrups with them and then figuring out how much you absolutely need to do the job... I want you to be able to feel that, 'Oh my God, it’s all Christmas' in every single cocktail without it being too sweet or overloaded with botanicals.
Whether you're grown up, or not. Love the holidays, or need a drink to get through them, "Miracle" on Fore Street at Vena's Fizz House is overflowing with Christmas cheer through the end of December.