‘Stranger Things’ struck a chord with viewers of many ages, but it particularly appealed to those that grew up in the 80s or with an appreciation for the pop culture of the era. The main characters Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and absentee Will (Noah Schnapp) evoked the casts of such coming of age classics as ‘The Goonies’, ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘The Monster Squad’, speaking to the kid in all of us. But anyone old enough to grow up on these classics is now… well, grown-up. And with that comes the privilege of enjoying adult beverages. And what could be better than getting turnt on your hooch of choice? How about doing so in the comfort of a bar called The Upside Down, decked out to resemble the nightmarish parallel universe as well as Joyce Byer’s even scarier living room?
Well, if you care to do so, The Upside Down, a pop-up bar in Chicago (located at Logan Square venue at 2367 N. Milwaukee Ave.) will be open until October 1st and October 1st only. See, unfortunately the creators of this watering hole did not get permission to base their establishment on Netflix’s buzzy series. So the streaming service has been forced to issue a cease and desist order. But luckily for those curious, the bar owners don’t have to “cease” right away.
This is an excerpt from the document that was sent:
“Look, I don’t want you to think I’m a total wastoid, and I love how much you guys love the show. (Just wait until you see Season 2!) But unless I’m living in the Upside Down, I don’t think we did a deal with you for this pop-up. You’re obviously creative types, so I’m sure you can appreciate that it’s important to us to have a say in how our fans encounter the worlds we build. We’re not going to go full Dr. Brenner on you, but we ask that you please (1) not extend the pop-up beyond its 6 week run ending in September, and (2) reach out to us for permission if you plan to do something like this again.”
It’s sort of the obligation of the owner of a particular copyright to enforce it, otherwise it opens the door for others to rip it off without consulting with them or paying royalties. It’s also a way of ensuring that anything that ties into this property is up to a certain standard of quality.
But it seems that Netflix (a company famous for lax regulations for both employees and subscribers) is taking this imitation as the sincerest form of flattery. While they can’t condone the continued use of ‘Stranger Things’ in this way, they are willing to let the owners keep The Upside Down open for as long it was originally announced.
Manager Jared Saul admitted that had there not been legal action, the establishment would have likely extended its run past the October premiere of Season Two and through the Halloween season, but as he wrote in an email:
“It’s been so much fun for us & for fans of Stranger Things & has even introduced the show to new fans here in Chicago who weren’t aware of the show before visiting the pop-up.”
Among the custom cocktails offered at The Upside Down is “Eleven’s Eggos,” which is flavored like maple syrup.
If you’re not in the Chicago area, you could always throw your own theme party for the October 27 release of the second season. What other concoctions can you think of to serve?