Ice-makers shape bar for Samoset Resort's coolest winter event

Winter returns just in time for Jan. 13 opening of Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge
By Susan Mustapich | Jan 13, 2017
Photo by: Susan Mustapich Jesse Bouchard, left, owner of Frozen in Time, and Scott Luper, Samoset and Sagamore resorts Northeast regional director of Food and Beverage use a "nail board" to level off the top of the ice bar at the Samoset Resort Jan 10.

ROCKPORT — An ice bar took shape Jan. 10 on the outdoor deck of the Samoset Resort overlooking Penobscot Bay, in preparation for the upcoming Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge event, opening Friday, Jan 13, around sunset, and continuing through the 15th.

This year brings a glacial theme to the Ice Bar and Lounge, with ice sculptures of polar bears, a dog driven bob sled to sit on, and more on tap. Bar stools, couches, shot classes and "drink luges" made of ice are some of the unique features of the special event. Outdoor fire pits and faux fur cushions add warmth to the outdoor setting. The indoor lounge and fireplace is popular for those seeking more heat.

The ice shapers just happen to include the resort company's top brass, Tim Pierce, the Samoset's executive chef; Scott Luper, the North East Regional Food and Beverage director; Bob McElhenny, The Sagamore Resort Food and Beverage director; Chris Merriam, the South Portland Marriott Food and Beverage director, as well as Frozen in Time owner Jesse Bouchard.

The team works together for a total of three weeks, moving from the Samoset Resort, to the Sagamore Resort on Lake George in New York, and the Timber Kitchen and Bar at the Residence Inn in Bangor.

On the afternoon of Jan. 10, Luper, McElhenny, Merriam and Bouchard were adding finishing touches to the first of the ice bars, made out of many 300-pound blocks of ice. They were having a great time carving designs on the base with a small chainsaw, smoothing down the bar top with a nail board, and bringing shine and clarity to the ice with metal slabs heated by a propane torch.

Pierce, an award-winning ice-carving artist, was busy making some of the sculptures that will decorate the ice bar scene. Two dogs for the bob sled were finished, and stowed in one of the restaurant freezers, along with the base of one of the drink luges carved with Tito's Handmade Vodka logos that will be featured on either side of the bar.

This is the Samoset Resort's fifth annual ice bar. Drinks include specialty cocktails, of the cold and warm variety, including the cold Glacier Cosmo and Chocolate Martini and the Warm Baked Apple, The Avalanche and mocktails, ice cold beer, and a special lite fare menu.

Weather permitting, the Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge will also be open Jan. 20 and 21.

Courier Publications reporter Susan Mustapich can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at

Samoset Resort Ice Bar
(Video by: Susan Mustapich)
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