Watch CBS News

Minnesota company creates unique ice bar and throne for south Minneapolis pizza shop

Minnesota Ice’s sculptures help boost business at south Minneapolis’ Red Wagon Pizza
Minnesota Ice’s sculptures help boost business at south Minneapolis’ Red Wagon Pizza 02:17

MINNEAPOLIS — It may be hard to come by this winter, but a Minnesota based company is continuing to embrace all things ice.

Sculptors were busy scraping, sanding and sawing an ice throne on Red Wagon Pizza Company's patio Wednesday morning.

"In Minnesota, we have this really interesting social element that comes in the winter time," chef and owner Peter Campbell said.

It's an element Campbell and his team at Red Wagon have embraced for the second year in a row.

"Restaurants like mine, 50 seat mom and pop restaurant in south Minneapolis or any other part of the Twin Cities this time of year struggles around January and February," Campbell said. "It's the time of year where belts tighten, spending changes, we lose 50% of our seating because we've got a massive patio. So this is a time where we hold on to our nuts we've gathered and hold on throughout winter."


By adding a few icy additions, a space that normally sits empty on a Friday night in February blossoms.

"The picture is very beautiful. There's fire pits going, there's families everywhere, there's blankets when it's poppin'. When it's not, it's very clear that there's like a sadness. It's really too cold or its just melting," Campbell said.  

"It's a very meaningful part of our financial equation for a small business like mine," he added.

Campbell says he sells about 25% of what he does in June in January. The ice bar, and now ice throne, draw people in during a slow time.

It's reactions like that, that keep Minnesota Ice Lead Sculptor Trever Pearson going.

"Ice really feels like it's in our nature and our DNA as Minnesotans," Pearson said.

READ MORE: Minneapolis officially closes outdoor ice rinks until next winter

This winter though, ice has been hard to come by.

"This winter has been a little bit more tough. You know, these kind of El Nino cycles come every couple of years," he said. "It's not like we haven't dealt with this before. We take all the precautions that we can to try and mitigate all the risk factors."

Things like insulated blankets, UV resistant tarps, and dry ice.

"I'm all in on it," Campbell said. "We're having a blast doing it and it's been a little devastating—our first ice bar only lasted five days, which was a bit of a bummer."

Even so, Campbell says it's a tradition he'll keep going. The second ice bar installation has lasted a month so far.

"I think, having gone through a warmer season I just feel like I know more information so when I do it again next year, I'll know how to approach it," said Campbell.

Minnesota Ice says while they're winding down their busy season, but the icy work doesn't stop after winter is over. They'll be busy making ice sculptures for upcoming holidays, events and weddings.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.