WEST TOWN — Of all the rooms at Graceland, the Jungle Room may be the most memorable. But if Memphis is too much of a hike, Elvis enthusiasts can go to a spot-on re-creation of the Graceland highlight in West Town this week.
The Jungle Room pop-up is open 4-11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Five Star Bar, 1424 W. Chicago Ave. Admission is free.
The pop-up of the iconic space is part of a marketing push from Memphis Tourism, giving folks a chance to see what they may be missing in the Tennessee city. The “Love Me (Bar)Tender” pop-up series has already visited New York City and Boston, and is wrapping up in Chicago this week.
“We really wanted to bring a taste of Memphis to Chicago,” said Lauren Berry, public relations director for Memphis Tourism. “And one way of doing that is having Elvis and the Jungle Room being the gateway to educating them about all that Memphis has to offer.”
When it came to creating his own man cave, the King (notably a big Hawaii fan) added some tropical flair, with then-stylish mid-century trappings like green shag carpet, a rock waterfall, and of course, wood panelling amid naturistic knick-knacks.
The result became of the Presley’s favorite spots in his Memphis home. As a bonus, the room was so acoustically sound, he even recorded several tracks there in the now-famous Jungle Room sessions.
While there is no admission fee, visitors can take advantage of the special cocktails and dishes crafted for the event, all with an Elvis vibe: like the Memphis Burger with peanut butter, banana and honey, and a coconut cake with boozy Jameson soft serve.
You can sip cocktails like Burning Love (tequila, mezcal, apple cider) and Blues on Beale (blue curaçao, rum, coco real and pineapple juice) as you wander through the recreated room, with carefully crafted features like a tiki bar, animal figurines and brightly colored ashtrays. The setting is perfect for Tik-Tok-ers and Instagram fans; there’s also a photo booth available, and naturally, Elvis music played throughout.
The location for the pop-up was an easy choice, Berry said. Five Star Bar “already fit the vibe” because it already featured some Elvis memorabilia, Berry said.
This pop-up room actually has an advantage over the attraction it’s based on, Berry said.
“Obviously, when you’re visiting Graceland, you can’t step foot in the Jungle Room,” Berry said. “But here you can interact with the room in ways that you can’t when you’re actually visiting. Even this morning, whenever I stepped into the room, I was like, ‘Oh, I feel like I can’t step foot on this!'”
To entice visitors to check out Memphis, Jungle Room pop-up visitors can enter a raffle to win a trip to Memphis including airfare, a three-night stay at the Peabody Hotel, and visits to other attractions like Sun Studios, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and of course, Graceland.
More information is available here.
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