A pop-up cocktail bar with a purpose: Lake Effects sales to benefit charity

The holiday season is all about giving and getting together with friends and family. Mia Sakai and Lindsey Neidus, co-founders of SEA (Spaces, Experiences, Activations), have taken those holiday sentiments a step further by melding the two to create a pop-up holiday cocktail spot: Lake Effects Bar, located in the renovated historic 1901 Kimpton Schofield Hotel.

Lake Effects Bar
Kimpton Schofield
2000 E. 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44115

Open through New Year's Eve, Lake Effects offers a full bar including specialty cocktails and local holiday-themed beers from Great Lakes Brewing Company, Thirsty Dog, Fathead’s, Saucy Brew Works, Platform, and Sibling Revelry, as well as a selection of festive small bites prepared by Parker’s Downtown.

"We wanted to create a unique and inclusive holiday experience for the people who work, live, and visit downtown Cleveland," says Neidus.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale is on draft, and for every draft beer sold, Lake Effects will donate one dollar back to Shoes and Clothes for Kids, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

"From the onset and conception of Lake Effects, we knew we wanted to donate back to a local organization in the city," explains Neidus. "Shoes and Clothes for Kids works to provide brand-new clothing, shoes, and school supplies for local kids living in poverty. We believe in what they are doing and honored to support them."

So far, Neidus reports they have raised more than $500 for the organization since opening the day after Thanksgiving. She says eight kegs and 50 cases of the Christmas Ale were ordered just last week. “It’s just flying,” she says.

Neidus has been working with Kimpton and Parker’s on the pop-up bar—which features A Christmas Story theme—since the summer. “That front space was vacant,” she explains of the area where she created an inviting holiday hangout that features a custom-built 20-foot bar, more than 5,000 feet of festive lights, and nostalgic holiday decor throughout. There is also a “kiss-me wall” with mistletoe hanging throughout, which Neidus says has been popular. 

“It’s a bar, but when you move through it, it’s an experience,” says Neidus, who hopes to do additional pop-up bars in the future. “People come in and just take pictures. We’ve been packed, and people love it.”

The space is also available for private parties, and Kimpton guests receive a 20 percent discount on their bills when they show their room keys. For more information, contact the Kimpton Schofield. Lake Effects is open Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. through Monday, December 31.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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