Frostbite Challenge ice bar creates frozen fun

Patrons at Monticello’s Station Bar & Grill discovered this weekend stopping off and enjoying a cold one had an entirely new and entertaining meaning.
An outdoor ice bar opened at the establishment Saturday as part of the run-up to the Jan. 11 to Jan. 13 Monticello Frostbite Challenge.
Bar visitors can enjoy drinks outdoors the rest of this month and into next as long as the weather holds.
The ice bar is tucked under the entrance awning.
“Traditionally, what I’ve done for a lot of events like this is put the ice bar into a tent, where space is a lot more limited,” said Dan Lageson, Station Bar & Grill employee and ice bar construction expert.
Lageson said he’s worked for a number of years with Chris Swarbrick, a professional ice sculptor. Swarbrick manufactures the blocks from water that’s filtered through a reverse-osmosis process. “His trademark is having crystal-clear ice blocks,”  Lageson said.
“There’s more ‘wow’ factor when the ice is crystal-clear. We even took the Station Bar & Grill’s color logo and put it inside an ice block,” Lageson said.
According to Lageson, the best time to see the ice bar will be at night, when it’s illuminated. It will be fully functional, with a luge to pour and chill cocktails an ice couch and ice coffee table.
“When there’s high sun activity, we’ll have the ice bar protected by roll-down shades. We will have it closed down,” he said.
Last Friday afternoon, Lageson and a pair of helpers unloaded the 6,000 pounds of frozen blocks and other pieces of the Monticello Frostbite Challenge bar.
As temperatures dropped into the low teens, Lageson checked his dimensions then spent the rest of the night assembling the bar using conventional tools,
“Creating a local buzz during the winter is what it’s all about,” he said, referring to next month’s Third Annual Monticello Frostbite Challenge. “It’s a blast.”