What does the biggest Halloween party in Fayetteville do when large crowds are no longer permitted?
It goes “big,” but at smaller stations.
Bo Counts, owner of Pinpoint in Fayetteville, has transformed his bar into “Nightmare on Block Street,” a multi-stationed Halloween experience that features themed areas that are homages to seasonal classics such as “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Friday the 13th” and zombie apocalypses.
‘Nightmare on Block Street’ Halloween Experience
When: Open at 5 p.m.; closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Where: Pinpoint, Fayetteville
Admission: First-come, first-served
Counts said he’s been doing Halloween his whole life. From family celebrations to staging a haunted house to his own Beat Bachs Halloween dance party, this is his holiday.
His costumed dance parties routinely drew 500 people for one night. It was his attempt, he said, to bring people “the Halloween party you would see in the movies but could never find in real life.”
Knowing that a 500-person crowd was out of the question, he reformatted what would have been his 14th annual Beat Bachs Halloween party into a more intimate experience. He’s a collector, both of vintage pinball machines – which were the main attraction at Pinpoint prior to the Halloween transformation – and Halloween related items. It’s that exact combination inside the bar during the month of October, as the “Nightmare on Elm Street” themed booth is adjacent to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” pinball machine.
At previous Beat Bachs Halloween dance parties, he’s held back on bringing out some of the larger, more expensive decorations, knowing that a raucous crowd would be prone to breaking or stealing things. But with COVID-19 restrictions forcing bar owners into limited seating arrangements and their patrons into more reserved behavior, he’s brought out the good stuff.
The idea, he said, is to stretch the Halloween experience out over a month but still go all out for the event.
“Nightmare on Block Street” contains several seating areas for groups of up to 10, which is the state mandated maximum. Most of the seating areas are smaller, and each has a theme like one of the Halloween classics or a mock séance. Another corner features the three Sanderson sisters from “Hocus Pocus,” and the outdoor patio is “Ghostbusters” themed, complete with a larger-than-life recreation of the “Vigo the Carpathian” painting from “Ghostbusters 2.” You can’t help but stare.
The bar area is off limits to patrons, as mandated by current COVID restrictions. But the area isn’t empty. Several skeletons sit at the bar, and the mixologists behind it craft ghoulish cocktails. The “Redrum,” for instance, is bright red and comes served in a blood bag complete with blood type markings on the exterior. Another is served in a skull-shaped glass and has a brain-shaped gummy at the top. Meanwhile, snacks such as pork rinds have been rebranded as “fried skin.”
All of the food and drinks are indulgent on purpose.
“It’s like at the end of a good trick-or-treat night, and just going to town on your goodies,” Counts said.
The concept has already proved popular. After an initial preview weekend during which reservations were taken but yielded some no-call, no-shows, the event has switched to first-come, first served service. At their peak last weekend, waits for a table were about 30 minutes.
Or longer, if you’re like the group who chose to keep waiting outside for another option after the only available spot was the “Arachnophobia” themed table. It happened just last week.