Ice bar opens at North Shore lodgeBlu opened for its first customers at 2 p.m. to celebrate the winter solstice.
By: Mike Creger, Lake County News Chronicle
The finishing touches were made this afternoon on a bar made from ice at Grand Superior Lodge in Castle Danger.
Blu opened for its first customers at 2 p.m. to celebrate the winter solstice. It was complete with most of the acoutrements made of ice: shot glasses, a polar bear sculpture, couch.
Mitch Climek had a drink while his companion, Brittany Edd, took pictures. The couple from Scandia had come up to stay at a resort closer to Two Harbors but wanted to check out the bar at Grand Superior, which is along state Highway 61 just south of Gooseberry Falls State Park.
Curiosity brought other customers in throughout the afternoon despite slick conditions on area roads.
Phil and Phyllis Sutula of Gary-New Duluth said the unique bar was worth the drive.
“The perfect drink, the perfect glass, in the perfect place,” Phil said as his shot glass dripped water through his warm fingers.
The bar, designed by ice sculptor Chris Swarbrick, sits inside a white tent near the main parking area for the resort. Managers expect it to be open 2-6 p.m. Saturdays through February with some other nights expected as word gets around. The seasonal license for the bar only allows it to be open 21 days this winter.
There are some other quirks as well. Because the ice shot glasses are considered food, the bartender has to wear a glove when handing one over to a customer. The county also required a building permit for the structure and won’t allow it under a tent next year. The resort would need to build a permanent structure of some sort, managers said.
With all that, workers, who outnumbered the customers at the start, shrugged their shoulders and couldn’t keep from saying: “Isn’t this cool?”
Tom Linderholm, manager of the restaurant at Grand Superior and Blu, was delighted with the finished product and looking forward to seeing the curious come by and check it out. “It’ll really help us in the slow time of the year,” he said.