Minus5 Ice Bar: A New Way to Cool Down in New York City This Summer

A bar of ice to beat the heatwave in New York City (hallelujah!)

Minus5 Ice Bar is made completely of ice
Emily Sundberg

Summer in New York City seems to grow hotter everyday, but why cool down with a drink at a bar when you can cool down with a drink in a glass made of ice ... in a bar made of ice.

Click here for More Scenes from New York City's Minus 5 Ice Bar

At the New York Hilton in Midtown, the city’s first Ice bar, Minus5 has opened just in the midst of the 2013 heatwave. When you enter the first room, you're suddenly and surrounded by (faux!) fur coats; black, or white, or just a basic parka. The coat is an additional cost to customers, so be forwarned if you don't want to bring your own parka. There are also lockers set up to place any devices you may have that would create heat, therefore destroying the architecture, so phones and cameras are kept safe in the lockers (also cool because you can have conversations without people staring at their iPhones).

After choosing a coat, you are lead into a sealed door into a first, smaller room, possibly to build suspense. “It’s going to be 23 degrees in there,” the manager says. Then, you enter the sealed ice bar. The entire room is made of ice. The shelves of the bar are ice. The couches are ice. The chandeliers are ice. “It was all imported here, everything is made of ice,” Manager Chris Eldridge said. All of the city scenes and sculptures in the ice bar are hand-carved.

Looking around, there is a very cool (no pun intended) vibe to the new bar. The blue and purple lights behind the ice transport you to an igloo, or Narnia. But the carved New York City scenes of the skyline, and Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge, remind you that you are in fact in the middle of Manhattan. “This was designed to have a sort of ‘speakeasy’ feel to it,” Eldridge says, referring to the VIP area, which is ice-walled off and ice couches draped in fake bear fur and an ice cabinet filled with alcohol. He also mentioned that the venue may be redesigned after a season or two.

Ice cubes aren’t an issue for the drinks you order at the bar because they are served in ice- yep the glasses are made of ice! Drinks on the menu range from the Big Apple (vodka, sour apple, and sweet and sour) to the Icy Margarita (tequila, sweet and sour, orange juice) , and even an array of non-alcoholic drinks.

“After more than four years in Las Vegas operating America’s first and only true ice bars, we are thrilled to be coming to New York City,” said Minus5 Founder and Vice President of Development, Craig Ling in a statement. The New York City location is open daily from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. and sometimes later depending on the crowd. Want to see the Minus 5 Ice Bar? Take a peek now! 


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