The “very seasonal” bar is only open 20 days a year.

Mike Pomranz
January 22, 2018

Pop-up bars have been an extremely popular trend for some time now. Sometimes a bar will pop up because the concept is cool but doesn't have enough legs to last for years on end. Sometimes a bar will pop up because it’s a significantly smaller investment than taking the risk of opening a permanent location. And sometimes a bar will pop up because if it was open all year long, it would literally sink to the bottom of a lake. At least that’s the story at Hillbillies Ice Hole, a bar in Minnesota stationed literally on top of a frozen lake.

Located on the frozen waters of Lake Lida about an hour southeast of Fargo, North Dakota, Hillbillies Ice Hole caters to the local ice fishing community, even offering an ice fishing hole right in the bar. According to Great Big Story, which recently profiled the unconventional establishment, the bar gets brought out onto the lake in “early winter” after a chainsaw text confirms that the ice is thick enough. Though other people will drag structures like temporary homes out onto the lake as well, space isn’t particularly limited. “To come to our bar on the lake, you just drive your car out on the ice and park,” says owner Josie Norgren. “We don’t have a parking lot. You just park wherever you want, walk in, and have a beer.”

Needless to say, opening a bar on ice is a bit of a risk, so Hillbillies Ice Hole doesn’t overstay its welcome. “It’s very seasonal,” Norgren later states. “We’re only open 20 days.” However, if you do make it, don’t miss the “local favorite drink” called “The Minnow Shot.” “People will actually take a live minnow, which is fishing bait, and put it into their shot, and drink it,” she says. Makes that trend of axe-throwing bars look pretty quaint, doesn’t it?