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This New York City restaurant spends more than $60K a year getting ready for Christmas

Rolf’s is rather unassuming from the outside. (credit: Sarah Jacobs, Business Insider)

When it comes to getting in the Christmas spirit, no one does it quite like Rolf’s German Restaurant in New York City’s Gramercy Park.

The otherwise quiet restaurant and bar is a spectacle during the holidays. Thousands of sparkling ornaments, icicles, lights, and dolls dangle above customers as they sip spiked hot apple cider and mulled wine.

Last year, Business Insider spoke to restaurant manager Suhal Uddin to get the scoop behind Rolf’s tradition of over-the-top Christmas decorations. He estimated that there are about 15,000 ornaments and 100,000 lights hung up inside. It all costs the restaurant between $60,000 and $65,000 each year.

We had to check out the decorations for ourselves — here’s what we saw:

The Christmas decorations usually start going up during the last week of September. (credit: Sarah Jacobs, Business Insider)
Over the following six weeks, six men work overnight, five nights a week, to complete the decorating process. (credit: Sarah Jacobs, Business Insider)
Uddin said that the decorating tradition was carried over from the restaurant’s previous owner. It gets more elaborate each year. (credit: Sarah Jacobs, Business Insider)
According to Uddin, there are an estimated 100,000 lights strung up throughout the restaurant. (credit: Sarah Jacobs, Business Insider)
About 15,000 ornaments are hung from the ceiling. (credit: Sarah Jacobs, Business Insider)
Plus, there are about 800 dolls. (credit: Sarah Jacobs, Business Insider)
According to Uddin, Rolf’s replaces every ornament that’s broken or damaged. “The decorations cost us between $60,000 and $65,000 every year,” he told Business Insider. (credit: Sarah Jacobs, Business Insider)
Tourists flock from all over the world to see Rolf’s. “We get a couple hundred international calls for reservations every year,” Uddin said. “We can’t accommodate everyone, but we try our best.” (credit: Sarah Jacobs, Business Insider)
Luckily, they keep their decorations up until April, so that anyone who couldn’t make it for Christmas still has the chance to experience it in the spring.(credit: Sarah Jacobs, Business Insider)