MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee restaurant is embracing the cold and opening an igloo bar in the Third Ward. At a time when restaurant in this city have packed up their outdoor seating, St. Paul Fish Company is opening its tropical island bar -- but this time they've wrapped it an an igloo!
Construction of the igloo finished around 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, January 27th, and opened at 5:00 p.m.
Everyone FOX6 News spoke with could not wait!
"This is a crazy idea that's finally coming to fruition. It's something we've been waiting to do for several years," said Patrick Nedobeck, bartender.
Though Mother Nature got in the way, they were supposed to open last weekend up it was 45 degrees and raining.
"Well, you can't really be upset about it, all we can do is push it off a week and pray for Mother Nature to cooperate," said Nedobeck.
She did. With temperatures dipping below zero, the work began.
"This ice all, this is new, this is new. We haven't done an ice wall for Milwaukee," said Vice President of Art Below Zero, Jeanne Koivunen-Zuleta.
Art Below Zero will construct the igloo, working with a foundation of two levels of 300 pound ice blocks that are ten inches thick.
"Today, the weather is perfect. It's cold, there's no snow or ice so there's no salt right now and that's important for the foundation of this," said Koivunen-Zuleta.
They fused the blocks together with ice shavings and water, creating a wall of ice surrounding the St. Paul Fish Company's outside bar.
"I love it," said Nedobeck.
In the end, it'll take six tons of ice to create the igloo.
The bar, usually shut down the first of November and opens back up early May, but the bartender wanted to throw a party in January.
"It's just a matter of embracing what we have here in Wisconsin in the winter, let's celebrate our cold and have some fun with it," said Nedobeck.
It was an unusual sight for one couple from Florida.
"We use ice cubes in our drinks in Florida, here you just st your drink on the bar," said Marcus Johnson, passeryby.
Many stopped to watch, grabbing photos and to touch.
"I wasn't sure if it was actually ice so I had to go up and touch it because it's unique, something really cool," said Alycia Pardoe, passerby.
They'll serve the full food menu and some hot seasonal beverages to warm up. They also have infrared overhead heaters they can turn on.
The bar opens at 5:00 p.m. Friday evening, and will be open until 11:00 p.m. They hope to be open for the next two to four weeks -- depending on the weather of course.