So, what’s the coolest bar in Manhattan? That’s easy – it’s Minus5 located in the lobby of the New York Hilton Midtown. Chilling out here is no problem, as this bar is kept at a constant 23 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s minus 5 degrees Celsius).
Tons of Ice
Created in New Zealand, Minus5 is a unique ice-themed experience where patrons don warm parkas and gloves and enter a barroom made entirely of ice. That includes the walls, ceilings, chandeliers, the bar, tables, and even the seats and benches, which are, thankfully, covered with faux fur throws. The bar is constructed with over 100 tons of pure ice, and the ice is updated every six to eight months with 100% new ice.
The Manhattan location of Minus5 opened in July 2013 and was remodeled in November of 2015. The bar serves quality cocktails, spirits, and mocktails (non-alcoholic drinks) in – you guessed it – ice glasses. Minus5 staff were quick to advise us to use some of the many cocktail coasters throughout the bar – the icy glasses easily slide off the ice tables and benches. The bar uses two to three thousand ice glasses a week during their peak season. Specialty cocktails are primarily vodka-based concoctions; two choices we recommend are the Icy Margarita and the Ice Man.
The Minus5 ice experience offers a variety of packages beginning with the base package, which includes admission to the bar, a warm parka, and gloves. We opted for the most popular package – the Two Cocktail Experience, which gives you a chance to try a couple of the bar’s specialty cocktails. The VIP Package includes the Ice Experience, one specialty cocktail, Faux Fur Coat Upgrade, gloves, and a souvenir hat.
Celebrating the Big Apple
This chilling experience is enhanced by the intricate and interesting ice sculptures and designs located throughout the room. During a recent visit, we experienced the bar’s tribute to the Big Apple. Lady Liberty was front and center, with a number of other famous New York landmarks like a Central Park scene and a depiction of the Manhattan skyline all created in ice. Minus5 Ice Bar changes its exhibits and carvings periodically. Currently the frozen lounge is showcasing a tribute to pop culture icon Andy Warhol replete with a Campbell’s Soup ice sculpture – a nod to the nearby MOMA. Another wall celebrates Broadway with a collage of icy carvings of the logos from many of the Great White Way’s stage productions. A color-changing LCD light show creates some great effects on the various ice sculptures and carvings throughout the bar, and upbeat music keeps the energy going.
It’s a family affair
Minus5 welcomes families, as kids are permitted until 8:00 pm. Families will especially enjoy Minus5’s scavenger hunts where successful hunters can earn prizes. Scavenger hunts are themed to the season or current holiday. A recent football-themed hunt featured NFL team logos hidden in the ice sculptures. Easter season will have hidden Easter eggs. For the Christmas season ice sculptures include North Pole signs, Santa’s throne, and stacks of frozen gifts. And, naturally, Santa hangs out in the bar with holiday revelers.
The opportunities for some great group photos with the various sculptures and carvings are plentiful. However, cell phones and other electronic devices are not permitted in Minus5 (the freezing temps are not conducive to them); so, secure lockers are provided free of charge in the area where you don your parkas and gloves. Professional photographers are available inside to catch those memorable moments (for an extra charge).
The Minus5 Ice Experience isn’t limited to just NYC – other locations include Las Vegas, with two Ice Bars, and Orlando. For more information on this cool experience, visit www.minus5experience.com or call 212-757-4610.
FTC disclaimer: This article contains a sponsored link from Minus5 Ice Experience. Opinions expressed herein belong to the authors.