Minus5Finding a chill spot in NY is hard enough, especially when the summer heat turns buildings into saunas and can offer three-egg omelettes on the sidewalk. But at Minus5 at the midtown Hilton, bar-goers seeking a cold one are in for a more thorough experience than they may realize.

Guests at the stylish entrance are offered three cost-conscious options, all of which include the requisite protective apparel of a sub-freezing environment: a hip parka or faux fur floor-length and mittens. VIP’s (or V-ICE-P’s, as they are called) are also given access to a side VIP room to chill out more intimately.

After suiting up at the entrance, guests enter the Antechamber, a preliminary holding room of about 38-degrees fahrenheit, a preview of the frostier bar space within. Think the ‘toe-dip’ before the ‘plunge.’ Once guests are ready to go, they simply open the entry door and walk inside.

The initial feel of the space is more chilling than chilly, with gorgeous ice sculpture surrounding you instantly on all sides. Truth be told, I was perfectly comfortable, feeling more like a blinged out hip-hop artist in the provided black faux-fur trench than a perishable food item, as one might expect in a room of negative 5-degrees celsius (hence the bar’s catchy moniker).

The fanciful environment of colorfully lit ice walls depicting trees and notable New York sights, along with a stunning ice chandelier, provides enough distraction to keep anyone warm, even before drinks.

Minus5At 2,500 square feet with a budget around a half-million dollars, Minus5 transcends its theme, offering much more than drippy icicle lights and kitschy cubes for its cocktails. Renowned ice sculptor Peter Slavin has crafted a cozy, elegant space befitting the Snow Queen after an arduous day of treachery. The glistening sculptures offer uniquely frigid representations of the Statue of Liberty (left) and Central Park, complete with ice benches adorned with PETA-friendly synthetic animal skins.

And in case you were wondering, the only dancing on this bar would require skates and a savvy salchow. Constructed entirely of ice, the bar (below) features a wide array of Three Olives vodka flavors, assorted spirits, and, you guessed it, glasses made entirely of ice. And with tempting cocktails and shots that rival the NHL, you won’t mind getting your tongue stuck to the rim.

When asked about the potential for updates to the icy scenery, General Manager Chris Eldridge explained that he hopes to offer guests an addition or change to the space every three months or so, also mentioning that there are plans to use the space for upcoming art shows and other alternative ventures.

Since its opening at New York’s midtown Hilton on July 6th, Las Vegas is no longer the only city cool enough to offer the Minus5 touch. And after a short visit to Minus5, refreshed New Yorkers will no doubt return again and again for this well thawed-out experience.



Minus5 at the Midtown Hilton

1335 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10019

Open daily from 2pm to 1am.