I heard about the Ice Bar last year. It caught my attention, and I put it on my mental “I’d like to do this” list. But it didn’t happen.
Last week I saw the article in the local paper about it’s annual reincarnation, with a Winter Olympics theme. With the extreme cold we’ve had, I figured it had to be holding up well, and put it back on my list. This time we found willing friends and made the trip together up to Grand Superior Lodge to take in the Blu Ice Bar.
Armed with heavy jackets, long johns and boots we were prepared to settle in for a chilly but unique drink at the outdoor bar. Although I realized the structure itself was a tent and not made of ice, from the description I did envision table and chairs made of ice. Instead, we found a large open area, with ice sculptures decorating the perimeter, and a round icy table in the center for stand-up socializing. There was a good crowd inside, many sporting snowmobile suits or downhill ski garb.
The bar itself was quite impressive, and completely made of ice. And I couldn’t help but applaud their choice of cross-country skiing for the sport that adorned the front. In fact, all the ice sculptures were attractive and well done, particularly when back-lit with colored lights. We availed ourselves of the unique drink offerings, choosing the hot chocolate spiked with Bailey’s and Peppermint Schnapps over the Blutini. After taking a few turns at the icy miniature curling table and admiring our surroundings, we ran out of reasons to stay.
As long as we were there, we decided to head indoors to see just what the lodge was like. The bar area was crowded and warm – no need for our heavy layers there. Before we had time to decide to retreat, the wave of a friendly hand revealed friends in the mob, and soon the six of us were crammed around their precious table. Combining old friends with new, we spent a pleasant evening trading stories.
So did the Ice Bar live up to my expectations? Not really. But the evening did. And I have to admit that the concept is still pretty cool, and I’m glad I saw the icy artwork. I just don’t need to go again. I’ve already crossed it off my list.