Offering one of the city’s more unusual drinking concepts, the Ice Kube bar features Siberian temperatures, surreal igloo-like surroundings, and a jetset clientele easily explained by the steep entry fee and posh ambiance. Designed by champion ice sculptor Michel Amann, who used 20 tonnes of ice to carve out the sleek, fantasy-inspired bar, the bar is the only all-ice nightlife spot in the city (at least as this went to press).
Not necessarily an ideal place for a relaxed evening of drinks, but if you’re looking for a whimsical and interesting night out, this is a good choice— assuming you’re willing to dress up for the occasion, fork out more than a little cash and prepare for some shivering. At least you'll burn off some extra calories in preparation for Fashion Week, dahling.
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- Offers an unusual and fun nightlife experience
- Not likely to be overcrowded most nights
- Set in an off-the-beaten-track corner of Paris
- Prohibitively expensive entry fee
- Not located in central Paris
- Time at bar is limited to 30 minutes
Address and Contact Details:
- Address: 1-5, passage Ruelle, 18th arrondissement
- Metro: La Chapelle (line 2)
- Tel: +33 (0)1 42 05 20 00
- Open: Wednesday through Saturday, 7pm-2am, Mondays and Tuesdays reserved for private groups (call well ahead).
- Reservations are highly recommended (limited space and high demand)
- Dress code: no jeans or sneakers
- Nearby Sights and Neighborhoods: La Chapelle neighborhood; Montmartre Neighborhood
My First Impressions?
If you happen to be reading this review in the dead of the winter, I know what you’re thinking : it’s minus 5 degrees out in Paris! Why would I want to go sit in a freezing cold bar where I can see my own breath ?
But partaking of drinks at the Ice Kube is a far cry from buying a bottle of wine and attempting to drink it with numbing fingers on the frigid streets. This bar arguably brings a little glamour and swank to what could otherwise feel like a kitschy, overrated concept (and a finger-numbing experience, besides.)
Hidden on a nondescript street in the middle of the La Chapelle neighborhood in northeast Paris– traditionally known for its excellent and ridiculously inexpensive South Asian restaurants – you may easily walk right past the Kube Hotel without even noticing it. But behind the heavy iron gate are 41 rooms of accommodation with an upscale restaurant and an all-ice bar inside.
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The Dress Code
There is a dress code to enjoy your evening at Ice Kube bar or the hotel restaurant downstairs, so make sure to change your clothes before embarking on a night out here (no jeans or sneakers). The establishment is a favorite hotspot for film crews and Paris Fashion Week after-parties, so your average Joe-schmo (or Pierre-schmierre) isn’t likely to to make it through the door. Call it a snobby concept if you will, but this is what staff calls “creating an atmosphere.” Once inside, you’ll get a king’s welcome, with friendly staff making all efforts to give you a pleasant experience.
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The Drinking Experience, and the Arctic Ambiance
Once you’ve enjoyed a meal of upscale finger food in the hotel restaurant and bopped your head to the featured DJ of the evening, head up to the mezzanine-level ice bar for an invigorating (albeit expensive and short-lived) drinking experience.
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At the door, you’ll be given a down parka and gloves before stepping into the -12° C bar, boasting Siberian-like temperatures. Pale pink and blue lights reflect off the life-size ice blocks that create a hallway-like space, to igloo effect. At the bar, also fitted out of ice of course, you'll be served up a set of four Grey Goose vodka-based drinks in custom-made mugs formed entirely of ice.
Relax on the faux fur-laden ice chairs or oversized pillows, and enjoy your cocktails for the next 30 minutes – the limit here.
At first, you may consider this an overly expensive thrill (the entry fee is currently 38 Euros), but after a half hour in this ice box, your nose will be so cold that you may not care if you’ve finished the last sip of Grey Goose or not. An evening at the Ice Bar is a memorable experience, even if you can’t feel your toes by the end of the night.
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