I always thought an ice bar in the middle of Minneapolis (like the one at Chambers Hotel) seemed kind of ridiculous. But an ice bar at the northern tip of our state just makes a lot more sense. It's reeeeally cold up there. For the second year, Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors will open its Blu Ice Bar & Lounge on Dec. 21.

The bar -- complete with fur-lined ice benches, ice-carved glassware and ice chandeliers -- is three times the size this year. More than 200 blocks of ice (weighing 300 pounds each) were used in its creation. The bar was hand-crafted by Chris Swarbrick, the St. Paul Winter Carnival's carving champion. New food this year includes oyster shooters and "North Shore sushi."

Details: Opens Dec. 21. Hours are noon-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through February. 2826 E. Hwy. 61, Two Harbors, Minn. 1-800-627-9565. www.grandsuperior.com/icebar/



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