Wilmette, Community

Holiday takeover in Wilmette begins third year on Thursday, Nov. 16

One is fun, two is better and three? Pit and Tap’s Michael Clarke hopes three means tradition.

Pit and Tap is about to begin its third holiday-season transformation into Deck the Halls, and Clarke is proud that it has become a seasonal tradition for many in and around Wilmette.

“Family holiday traditions are so special and becoming a part of so many families annual holiday plans is very gratifying,” he said in an email to The Record. “Deck the Halls at Pit & Tap has become something that people look forward to every year. It feels good to have created a place that people want to show their out-of-town guests. Where friends and co-workers get together for holiday cheer. And there is nothing better than seeing a kid’s expression when walking through the door for the first time.” 

The Wilmette barbecue restaurant’s first holiday pop-up was in 2021, and Year No. 3 will begin on Nov. 16, when Pit & Tap’s facade will be smothered in bright holiday lights and its inside will feature wall-to-wall decorations, from garland to ornaments to tinsel to trees to Nutcrackers, Santas and plenty more.

Chris Karabas and company play a set last year during Deck the Halls at Pit and Tap

Deck the Halls will jingle all the way until Jan. 7. Visit to enjoy festive music playlist, seasonal beers, themed cocktails, such as spiked hot chocolate and egg nog, and of course Texas-inspired barbecue.

Clarke and company also have a few surprises are also in store, like multiple visits from Santa Claus. The big guy will come to Pit & Tap for breakfast on five straight Saturdays: Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23. Tickets are limited.

Also, Deck the Halls at Pit & Tap will host a family-style New Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31 with celebrations on the hour from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

After two years of success, Clarke is hoping Pit & Tap’s Deck the Halls continues to be a holiday destination.

For a list of more festive fun on the North Shore, check out the Record Roundup of holiday events.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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