By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jan 17, 2019 at 12:16 PM

By Wisconsin standards, it's been a relatively tame winter so far. Normally that'd be happy news – but Milwaukeeans are about to find themselves in odd position of wishing for frostier forecasts as, if the weather continues to cooperate, ice bars will return to the Third Ward. 

Earlier this month, St. Paul Fish Company announced on Facebook that the popular cold-weather hot spot would set up snowy shop once again outside the fish restaurant, as well as Cafe Benelux and The Wicked Hop.

Last year's Toast to Winter featured three unique hand-carved ice bars outside the three Third Ward locales on the corner of Broadway and St. Paul Avenue, from an ice wall to a Bloody Wall ice luge and an "elegant beer-serving cow." Because why would you not.

Best of all, much like last year, a portion of the proceeds from each of the ice bar features will go toward charity, with Cafe Benelux sponsoring the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, St. Paul Fish Company benefiting the Fisher House Foundation and The Wicked Hop supporting the ALS Association and Courage MKE.

What weird designs do they have cooking up for this year? (Or, uh, the opposite of cook?) We can't wait to find out when the frigid festival begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18 – which is locked in, unlike last year when the weather temporarily thawed out the Third Ward's fun and postponed the winter wonderland twice thanks to distinctly un-wintry and wonder-free forecasts.

So Mother Nature, please be cool – and please stay cold. 

The St. Paul Fish Company ice bar will open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 4 p.m. until close, as well as Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until close. The ice bar outside Cafe Benelux will open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. until close, Fridays from 3 p.m. until close, and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until close. And The Wicked Hop ice bar will open Tuesdays through Fridays from 4 p.m. until close, as well as Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until close.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.