If you want to go to a different and original bar in Barcelona to, in addition to have a drink, have a subzero experience, your place is the Icebarcelona. This is the first ice bar on the beach around the world for you to change your surroundings for a while and to imagine that you are in an igloo in the Arctic. From ShBarcelona we recommend visiting this special cocktail bar with a modern atmosphere and “minimal” decoration. Enrique Guia is responsible for this place and he will tell us a bit more about it in this interview…
How and when did the idea of opening Icebarcelona come up?
It came up over 7 years ago when Dutch entrepreneurs decide to copy the original concept of ice bar born in Sweden, next to the beach of La Barceloneta where in summer the temperature difference between the two environments can be more than 40°C.
Who’s behind this place and what is your background?
Behind this place there is a team of many people working. Behind every job there is a specialist; from the guys who make the ice glasses, which isn’t easy at all, to professional barman and administration workers. It’s been seven years on the road… I remember when we started, people passing through the door didn’t believe that there was an ice bar. Today we know a lot more known by the people, we are even associated members of Barcelona Tourism, the official tourism institution of the city.
How is the “standard” visit to Icebarcelona? And, besides visitation, do you held other events?
More than “visit” we call this an experience, something different to do. It begins when we give the visitors some winter clothes. You’re one step away of entering a room with below zero temperatures, where you will have a drink. You can order some vodka, gin, rum or whiskey, combined with a soda or a fruit juice. The most successful are the Sex on the Ice and Coco Loco, which are the “ice bar” versions of Sex on the Beach and Piña Colada. You can stay in the bar all you want, or you can, hehe… the temperature is below zero and after forty minutes people tend to feel cold feet… Regarding the events, we have developed several events for companies, and this year we enhance it further, because I modestly believe that we have a singular space in a prime location. We have done quite a few things and we still have much to do.
What types of customers come to Icebarcelona and what is their reaction to this frozen space?
Our audience is the most heterogeneous: from toddlers to seniors, lovebirds, couples, groups of friends and bachelors parties. Everyone has their time here. In addition, people come from all over the world. Recently came some Egyptian students who were really amazed. They were about 40 people and danced like crazy. The next day came 100 more. They had so much fun that we ended up calling them “the Arab Spring”.
How’s the experience of opening a business so different in a city like Barcelona?
We have great enthusiasm and is a challenge to open a place like that in here. It was harder to bring people here because it is a very touristy area and people perceived it as an attraction “for tourists”. However, gradually local inhabitants are coming to visit us, and today, more than half of the people who visit us are people who live here.
Is there something you can tell us about the future of Icebarcelona that nobody knows?
I can only tell you that last month we went to Harbin, in China, to the ice and snow festival to bring back new ideas with us. We have seen things there that have left us amazed and we will try to carry them out in the Icebarcelona.
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