The Rise and Fall of the 2019 Third Ward Ice Bars, in Photos

It’s been a real roller coaster of emotions lately for things made of ice.

Just like the Polar Vortex, the Third Ward’s ice bars came and went. And as bitter cold as it was to step outside was last week, the sculptures themselves were pretty cool, too.

But all three ice bars were removed from in front of their respective restaurant Sunday night after the arrival of spring temperatures started to melt the ice.

The bars opened on Jan. 18, lasting only three weekends.

Brandon Rivas, one of the managers at Cafe Benelux, said the ice bars come once a year. Therefore, they won’t be returning.

This is the second year the ice sculptures have appeared. (Last year was a bit of a roller coaster, too.)

The three ice bars were located outside St. Paul Fish Company at the Public Market, Café Benelux and the Wicked Hop.

Portions of the proceeds made at each ice bar went to designated charities of the restaurant’s choosing. 

St. Paul Fish Company chose the Fisher House Foundation, a home for veterans and families. The Lowlands Group restaurant, Café Benelux, decided to donate 10 percent of their proceeds to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. And the Wicked Hop picked the ALS Association and Courage MKE

Max Zuelta and his team at Racine-based Art Below Zero sculpted the bars and related ice sculptures. Art Below Zero holds the Guinness World Record for the longest ice bar, at 209 feet, according to its website. The bar was in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2011. 

The team also took out the ice when the temperature rose 70 degrees after the vortex left the Midwest alone.