This evening, a shipment of ice is expected to be delivered to St. Paul Fish Company at the Milwaukee Public Market. And around 9 a.m. tomorrow, Jan. 27, construction will begin on a brand new ice bar.
If all goes well, the bar should open to the public around 5 p.m.
The structure, which will be created and installed by Art Below Zero, will feature a decorative ice wall with a variety of fish sculptures adorning the top. It will be located in the same area as the summertime palapa, which offers guests a tropical oasis during the summer months.
"This is something that’s been in the works for a couple of years," notes Patrick Nedobeck of St. Paul Fish. "In fact, it’s something that my brother-in-law Tim has been wanting to do for a while. We were hoping to install it earlier this season, but the forecast was looking just a bit too warm."
Nedobeck says the ice bar, which will seat about 14 guests, will reflect a tropical feel. Offerings will include a variety of cocktails, as well as beer and hot beverages including coffee drinks, glogg and hot cider spiked with Jim Beam. Meanwhile, the ice structure will naturally shelter guests from the wind, and he says he also hopes they’ll be able to keep the chill away by using infrared heaters inside the space.
"We live in Wisconsin," he says. "It’s cold in the wintertime. But let’s embrace it and have some fun with it while it lasts. The bar will be open for as long as it lasts, and a lot of that depends on Mother Nature."
Nedobek says they’re also hoping the ice bar will grow to be an annual tradition for the Market.
"We’re hoping we can springboard this into something that’s not just a St. Paul Fish thing, but more of a Third Ward thing," he says. "I think the Third Ward is just the gem of Milwaukee, and it would be great to see some of the other businesses, like Cafe Benelux and Wicked Hop, getting involved."
The ice bar will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.