By Ian Neubauer
minus5, a unique concept bar made entirely of ice, opened its second Australian outlet in Sydney last week.
Eighteen tonnes of the purest Canadian ice was used to fashion the interior of the Circular Quay venue, in which everything from the walls to the seat to the sculptures and even the glasses are made of ice.
Unlike a traditional bar, the minus5 experience sees patrons outfitted in Eskimo-like clothing and given a guided tour of the premises, with photo opportunities, vodka-based cocktails, mocktails and brand paraphernalia available for purchase. It is also being touted as a fitting venue for team-building activities and corporate functions.
“Our focus at minus5 is the art of ice,” the company said in a statement. “We have our own ice-carver who changes the lounge and sculptures every six to eight weeks, continually re-inventing the experience”
minus5 is the brainchild of New Zealander Craig Ling, who launched the first ice bar in Auckland in 2002 before expanded it to Queenstown, the Gold Coast, Portugal and most recently to the US, with a high-profile Las Vegas venue also opening this month.
“When the first one opened in Auckland it was only going to be a three-month exhibition. But the ice concept has gone crazy,” Ling told the New Zealand Herald.
Ling and his team took two years sorting out the logistical difficulties entailed in bringing the concept to fruition, which included the engineering of dry-air environment with no wind chill to ensure patron comfort.
The investment has paid off, with 20 more franchises set to open in the US and more venues planned for Singapore and India.
For more information or to book an event at minus5, click here.