New places to pour a (really) cold one

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In a case of bringing the coals to Newcastle, the Grand Superior Lodge on the north shore of Lake Superior has put up an outdoor ice bar made of 160,000 pounds of ice.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that the attraction is turning into a gathering place where winter-loving tourists and local residents can sip from solid-ice shot glasses. The bar, tables and seats have been carved from multiple 300 pound blocks of ice. The bar's theme is designed to get fans excited about the upcoming Winter Olympics. Backlit ice carvings include a racing bobsledder, a miniature curling table with birch pucks and face-in-hole stand-ins, where patrons can become Olympic cross county or downhill skiers.

The outdoor bar is open Friday and Saturday evenings at the resort north of Two Harbors. The ice bar is the work of St. Paul ice sculptor Chris Swarbrick, winner of three of the past four St. Paul Winter Carnival multi-block competitions. He spent 10 days to constructing the venue.

Another first-of-a-kind bar has opened in downtown Minneapolis. The Business Journal reports that the city's first champagne bar is pouring the bubbly at the Relevé Champagne Lounge in the Graves 601 Hotel in the Block E complex. The new spot boasts of a selection of 50 champagnes and sparking wines, which can be ordered by the glass or battle. It also offers a variety of champagne cocktails and champagne flights.

"Relevé means to ‘to lift, to rise,’ and with champagne the bubbles rise and the spirits lift," Graves Hospitality President Ben Graves explained.

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