minus5 Ice BarNovember 20, 2011
Small Wonder Bar of the Year Entry
Name of Bar: minus5 Ice Bar
Location: Las Vegas
Square Footage: 1,200
Open Date: Aug. 16, 2010
minus5° is truly the most unique bar that you will assess during this awards process. It takes 10 skilled ice artisans more than 1,600 man hours to create this bar constructed entirely out of ice. When you enter minus5° Monte Carlo, you will be transported to an environment that is kept at a chilly minus 5˚C (23˚F). Quite a feat considering that a mere 100 feet away it is 115˚F on the Las Vegas Strip. Over 80 tons of Canadian lake ice is imported into the Las Vegas valley to ensure that everything inside this bar is made from ice. The walls, tables, chairs, chandeliers, event he glasses that you drink out of a made from ice. That is correct; the glasses are imported over 6,800 miles from Auckland, New Zealand. Pure artesian water is transformed into a chalice, where your drink does not come “on the rocks”, but rather “in the rocks!”
Eight inch thick walls encompass the perimeter of this 1,200-square-foot venue. Statues are painstakingly carved into an array of interactive art. One can have their pictures taken next to a nine foot tall replica of Mount Rushmore, weighing in at eight tons. Or they can opt to take a shot of deliciously cold vodka through one of our ice luges. Guests have a choice of drinking from the electric shot chair, or through the breasts of Holly Mad“Ice”son. Yes, the folks at minus5, in partnership with the Girls Next Door star, have carved a bust (pardon the pun) of Holly Madison that allows guests to imbibe their vodka the way Dionysus would prefer, through her nipples.
Guests are suited up in fabulous faux fur coats, don Russian hats and wear gloves in order to enjoy the wonders that await them in minus5°. Photographers get the crowd to pose at a number of points throughout the bar. Within 48 hours those photos are uploaded to the minus5° website, where they are available to post on facebook or twitter for no charge. For that special occasion, you can order the $10,000 Martini. This is the ultimate way to propose in Las Vegas, an engagement ring is frozen into a martini glass. With a “wow” factor like this, she is sure to say “I do.”
Minus5° is not a vodka bar; in fact spirits of all varieties are available. Although vodkas are heavily featured on the menu; scotch, gin, rum, tequila, wine and even beer tempt the taste buds of our patrons. We proudly state that minus5 is the only bar in Las Vegas in which the longer you drink your beer, the colder it gets. All of our bartenders are required to complete a six month training course prior to hiring. In this course they learn the history of spirits, how to differentiate wines and beers and how to distill vodkas. Bartenders greet guests with a thunderous, “Welcome to minus5°.” As the guest approaches the two thousand pound bar top, they are walked through a specialty drink menu. If one of these tantalizing options does not entice the guest, the bartender will offer a wide variety of other cocktails that they would be willing to prepare for the guest.
For $15 a guest can enter minus5° with a traditional coat, gloves and boots. Once inside beers are $7 and cocktails start at $10. For those that would like to be a little more adventurous, an upgrade to a faux fur coat and first cocktail will cost $45. If someone wants the full VIP treatment they can opt for the $75 VIP Experience package. This will include: faux fur coat, boots, gloves, a souvenir Russian hat, two cocktails and a 5” x 7” photo to commemorate their visit.
minus5° Monte Carlo has experienced a growth in sales of over 130% in the past year. I am not allowed to disclose exact dollar amounts, but this company has grown from a staff of 14 to a full time staff of 21. We have been featured on Regis and Kelly, National Geographic, “What Happens in Vegas” commercials, as well as a number of international programs. This is truly the most successful Wonder Bar of the year.