The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 12 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary
Brrrrr... chill out at minus 6, an ice lounge at inox Swabhumi

The concept: “The idea was conceived around two years ago when Surya Prakash Bagla, the chief MD of Saltee Group, visited an ice lounge in Las Vegas and wanted to bring home the concept to Calcutta. The entire project took more than one-and-a-half years to finish,” says Rahul Jalan, one of the directors. The lounge is owned by Saltee Group, a real estate firm in Calcutta.

The LOCATION: 89C Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Sarani (Confused? Let’s just say it’s in the basement of the building that houses INOX Swabhumi.)

The look: From the moment you enter the 1,200sq ft lounge, all you see is ice, ice and more ice! The walls, bar counter, tables, seats and even the glasses are frozen. The click-happy can pose behind an ice-taxi structure while setting the landscape of Calcutta is the Howrah Bridge and Victoria Memorial. Sit in an igloo, pose with an ice peacock and freeze your moment!

The CHILL FACTOR: Around 33,000kg of ice has been used, all imported from Canada. Each block of ice weighs around 100kg and a special team from Canada was brought in to build the ice lounge. Though the lounge is called Minus 6, the temperature inside is, er, around minus 10! And if you’re worried about loadshedding turning the lounge into a flooded Titanic, there’s 24-hour power back-up. Phew.

The dress: Slip on a ‘cape’ to stay warm. This consists of jacket and boots “imported from Canada” and woollen gloves. But you’ll still go Brrrrrr!

The wine & dine: The management is trying for a bar licence. Till then, sip on spicy mocktail shooters like Cosmo Chilly (cranberry juice, triple sec syrup and tobasco), Chilly Billy (litchi juice, chilli and blue curacao) and Snake Bite (green chilli, tobasco, and pineapple juice) and juices. No food is served here. But next door, there’s a 70-seater veg restaurant serving international cuisine. A separate lounge is also available for hosting private parties.

THE LAUNCH: “We will open Minus 6 on 12.12.12 at 12:12:12 (noon). We have tried to bring something really new to the city but this is not a nightclub. It is a place to come and enjoy with family and friends,” adds Rahul.

THE COST: Rs 1,000 per head, and once you leave — even if it’s because of the cold — you cannot re-enter! The ice lounge is open from noon to 11pm.