Rolf's Christmas Restaurant Lead
Credit: Lauren Brill justbrill/Instagram

If you live in New York City, you know Rolf’s German Restaurant is one of the toughest places to get into around the holidays. That’s because the Gramercy Park joint goes so all out with the decorations that it feels like you’re living in a Christmas dream.

This isn’t just a few strands of lights and a modest Christmas tree – we’re talking 100,000 lights, 15,000 ornaments, 800 dolls and thousands of icicles.

If you’re lucky and made reservations weeks in advance, you might get a glimpse of the inside. Otherwise you can take a stab at waiting in line, which often winds down the street. But it’s all worth it to see some of the decadence inside.

However, all that Christmas cheer comes at a cost. And a pretty steep one, it turns out. Rolf’s restaurant manager Suhul Uddin told Business Insider that the decor costs between $60,000 and $65,000 annually. Crazy, right? But just check out the results.

The set-up starts in September and takes about six weeks, with a crew of men hanging the decorations overnight. The entire process ends at the beginning of November, allowing ample time for visitors even before Thanksgiving. Since it’s so difficult to get a reservation, Rolf’s also leaves the decorations up through May.

The tradition began with the previous owner. And each year it gets increasingly grandiose, according to Udin. In addition to Christmas, the restaurant also decorates for Oktoberfest, decking out the place with colorful leaves, pumpkins and gourds.

Rolf’s has a full menu of holiday-inspired beverages, like this martini and other awesome festive drinks.

But let’s be real. They could only serve water and pretzels and we’d still wait hours to get into this place because it’s legit amazing.

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