An icy twist on winter drinks and dining

For those who dread the approaching cold season, here’s something to look forward to:

The Ice Men Cometh

This winter promises some of the most spectacular ice formations our area has ever witnessed, and they will be man-made. Chris Swarbrick, a professional ice bar carver whose work can be seen at Minus5 in Las Vegas, and local Chef and ice sculpturist, Paul Madsen, have teamed up to give Duluthians an ice carving extravaganza to enjoy most of the season.

The plan, weather permitting, is to build a complete bar – called The Opulent Ice Lounge – that serves a whole menu of ice concoctions, is completely constructed of ice from top to bottom including the furniture. “I love the Opulent Ice Lounge concept,” says Chris Swarbrick. “It will be a completely enclosed outdoor bar and lounge available seven days a week for guests to visit, sit, and enjoy something delicious and tasty!” The Opulent Ice Lounge will be built then covered by a tent on Little Angie’s Cantina’s outdoor deck. This will allow customers to delight in the ice libations and savor some appetizers to snack on as well! “Sure, we’ll have our Opulent Ice Menu specialties, but also great food features from the restaurant available for our guests to have a complete dining experience if they choose,” said Sandy Kolasinski, General Manager of Little Angie’s Cantina. “And right at the base of the Opulent Ice Lounge is the Bentleyville Jingle Bus pick up spot, so I’m sure customers wanting to visit Bentleyville can stop by and take in the Opulent Ice Lounge before or after their tour. What a fantastic winter night!”

If the weather cooperates, the lounge will open Friday night, December 9 to the public. Even after Bentleyville wraps up another season and New Year’s Day has come and gone, the Opulent Ice Lounge has yet another great event in store. Sunday, January 8 is the Chef’s Invitational Ice Carving Competition, also sponsored by Opulent. Duluth Chef Paul Madsen is a world-class competitive carver who will be hosting the competition, inviting the best carvers from all over the area to create beautiful ice art for big cash and prizes. “Our ice carving competitions up in Duluth have a great reputation for getting the best carvers from around the area. Duluth does it right! Not only do we have some big prizes, we display the finished art work beautifully so people can enjoy them over a three-week period… just like an art exhibit opening.” The competition will be available for spectators to watch right in front of Little Angie’s Cantina on the brick corner at the intersection of Buchanan St. & Canal Park Drive. At the end of the competition, each completed sculpture will be placed on a lit base just outside the Opulent Ice Lounge, adding to the winter ice artistry and beauty already demonstrated at the Ice Lounge. Nowhere in the country will visitors be able to see and enjoy the ice creations that we have in store this winter at Little Angie’s Cantina.

Ice man Chris Swarbrick, ice architect and builder, will construct a beautiful ice bar and lounge. He will also compete in the ice carving competition. Ice man Paul Madsen will assist Chris in the construction of the ice lounge and oversee the ice carving competition. Do not miss the opportunity to witness these two men’s frozen assets.

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