Cool drinks at Bedford Village Inn
Friday, January 25, 2013
By GEORGE PELLETIER
Stocked with 50,000 pounds of ice, the Bedford Village Inn will host its annual “Svedka Ice Bar,” featuring an array of drinks and food, and a lot of atmosphere.
The event takes place from 5-10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29 through Saturday, Feb. 2.
Jack Carnevale, BVI president and owner, said the event began with the talents of one chef three years ago.
“There’s kind of a strange story to it,” he said. “At the time, I had hired a chef who has since moved on, and we were sitting on our new patio that we had just built. We started talking about his qualifications and the fact came up that he was a world-class ice carver. So it popped into my mind that the patio would make a great space for entertaining with some kind of an ice sculpture. I asked if he would be willing to make some kind of an ice carving for me and he said that he would love to. So that basically was the divine inspiration for our first ice bar.”
Since that year, the Bedford Village Inn has moved what’s being billed as “The largest ice bar in the country,” into two areas: one on the patio, which will feature a Grillin’ and Chillin’ station, serving sausage and peppers and skewers and the main courtyard ice bar between the restaurant and the inn.
And, with a cue from the theme from “Jaws,” 2013’s event will be the year of the shark.
“We’ve commissioned a group of well-known ice carvers to do three separate bars for us plus a number of magnificent ice sculptures and all will have a feature of a shark built into it,” Carnevale said. “Even our luges that we pour our martini drinks through will feature the head of a shark.”
One bar will be exclusively for martinis; another bar will serve wine and beer and another will serve mixed drinks.
“The bars will be bigger and the sculptures will be more profuse and we always have one large sculpture where we have a photo opportunity,” Carnevale said. “I believe this year it’s going to be a mermaid, keeping with the shark concept. It’s very cool.”
The shark theme, Carnevale said, was his son, general manager Jon’s idea.
“Both Jon and I are working on this together but he’s pretty much leading the charge,” Carnevale said.
The event will also feature a DJ spinning on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and local favorite Josh Logan Band performing Thursday through Saturday nights.
Guests are encouraged to arrive early as last year’s event was “super crowded,” Carnevale said.
He said a full-color light show will illuminate the event.
“We have a lighting expert that comes in and prepares all of that for us,” he said. “Plus, we’ll have the Svedka logo illuminated right on the side of the barn building.”
Carnevale is hoping for ideal weather but with apologies to skiers, no snow.
“Last year was different, the weather was quite mild. We were very concerned about the ice melting but we made it through the week. Hopefully, as we’re going further, the weather is going to get colder, that’s all we’re hoping for- not more snow, as we have to start clearing out the courtyard. There we will have heaters and high top tables, so it’s fairly comfortable out there. And people can sneak inside for a little additional warmth.”
Admission is $5, plus guests may purchase $3 tokens to buy drinks. No cash will be exchanged at any bar.
“We find that’s a much easier way to go,” said Carnevale, who added he gets little done during the five-day event. “I really don’t, because I enjoy being out with all the people and just having a great time like they’re having.”
The Bedford Village Inn is at 2 Olde Bedford Way, off Route 101, in Bedford. For more information, call 472-2001.