All photos Laura Hayes

Jackie Greenbaum is almost finished making a life-sized grizzly bear head out of papier-mâché. It’ll be the centerpiece of the Alpine-inspired cocktail lodge launching atop her restaurant Little Coco’s on Dec. 5. Dubbed “Hot Coco,” the wintery pop-up will last through mid-March, celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and Valentine’s Day along the way. 

Greenbaum and her business partner Gordon Banks have transformed their cozy rooftop area, which they used this summer for the restaurant’s Coco Beach pop-up. The plan is to rotate between Coco Beach in the warmer months and Hot Coco in the colder months for the foreseeable future.

The tropical decorations and life-sized cut out of David Hasselhoff have been replaced with an electric fireplace, faux bearskin rugs, reindeer heads covered in recycled Indian saris, snow-sprayed windows, and a projection of Netflix’s best channel—Fireplace For Your Home.  

The cocktail menu that Banks created with some help from bartenders at sister restaurant Bar Charley is split into 10 hot drinks, 10 cold drinks, four options of shotskis (four shot glasses lined up on a wooden ski for friends to shoot together), and a small selection of beer and wine. 

Drink highlights include mini crockpots of mulled cider with a choice of booze; “Tea For Two” featuring blooming tea, gin, lemon, and honey; and “Just The Nog” with milk, Borsci San Marzano, Averna Amari, Civic Vodka, and Caffè Moka. Because Little Coco’s is known for its amari collection, Banks worked several of the Italian herbal liqueurs into the drinks. Cocktails are $9-$13, except for the ones that are for two to share. Shotskis are $20. See the complete cocktail menu below.

Each week, Hot Coco will serve a different cold weather dish to pair with the drinks. “We might have a badass elk burger one week, followed by fondue, followed by some sort of steak-frites,” Banks says. 

There will be a variety of board games available to guests who want to hunker down. 

While Hot Coco will be open Thursday through Monday nights from 5 p.m. until late, Mondays might be the best night to come. In addition to the half-price pizza offered downstairs in Little Coco’s dining room, drinks will be buy-one-get-one-free upstairs. “Hot drinks will be BOGO if it’s below 40 degrees, and cold drinks will be BOGO if it’s above 40 degrees,” Banks explains.

Hot Coco fits about 30 people and is available to walk-in customers, though Greenbaum says large parties can call to reserve all or part of the space. 

Updates about dinner specials and more will be available on the pop-up’s Instagram @hotcocodc. 

Hot Coco, 3907 14th St. NW; (202) 853-9889; littlecocos.com

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