The ice bar cometh

Master ice builders were in Cayman this week to sculpt the coolest new bar in George Town. 

Using chain saws and chisels, the men are crafting the bar and everything in it entirely from a huge block of ice shipped in from Canada. 

Work started on Monday, and the Minus 5° Ice Bar – in the Flagship building opposite the cruise terminal – will open next Wednesday. 

Peter Slavin, sculptor and designer for the novelty bar chain which has outlets in Las Vegas and New York City, said he and his crew were shivering through 16-hour shifts in sub-zero temperatures to get the bar built.  

He said the bar would include ice statues of pirates and palm trees. The bar itself will be built from ice blocks, some of which have shells or marine life immortalized inside.  

“We are trying to give a flavor of the islands in the design,” said Mr. Slavin. 

Craig Ling, a New Zealander who owns the ice bar chain and lives in Cayman, said he had always wanted to have an outlet on the island. 

He hopes the location and the novelty value of an ice bar in the Caribbean will bring tourists to the new venue. At other ice bars in the U.S., tourists typically rent anoraks and hats before entering the bar. 

A neighboring property in the Flagship building will double as a gift shop, becoming a “warm bar” named the George Town Social Club in the evenings. 

Mr. Ling said the intent is to create an upscale bar aimed at local people that could host functions and parties. 

“The really cool thing about this bar is that it is going to be something different. That’s what I like most about the concept,” said Mr. Ling. 


Ice Bar owner Craig Ling, left, with ice sculptors Peter Slavin, Joe Rimer and Chris Swarbrick work at getting the chilly bar ready on Wednesday morning. – PHOTO: CHRIS COURT


Sculptor Peter Slavin behind the bar of the new ice bar. – PHOTO: CHRIS COURT


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