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Published January 20, 2012, 06:50 PM

Unique bar opens on Lake Lida

Lake Lida, MN (WDAY TV) - There's really nothing like it around - on the ice that is. Two people in Otter Tail County have now opened a bar on top of frozen water.

There's really nothing like it around - on the ice that is. Two people in Otter Tail County have now opened a bar on top of frozen water.

It's hard to believe at first, but there is a Bar on Lake Lida. And with more than a hundred fish houses on the lake, the owner of the Ice Hole Bar might have just reeled in a golden idea.

Chris Haugen – Owner, The Ice Hole Bar: “People that know me think I'm crazy. I'm an outside the box thinker if you want to put a term on it, but I'm really excited.”

A few hundred yards in from the North Shore of Lake Lida, painted bright green and yellow in true Bison Pride sits The Ice Hole Bar - elevated six inches off the ice.

The DNR says 12 inches of ice is safe to drive on. After a brutally cold week, there are now 23 inches below the bar.

Chris Haugen: “This year we've got the best ice I've ever seen and it sits up four inches off the ice so the wind's blowing and keeping the heat from penetrating the ice so it shouldn't get any thinner.”

Soon, there will be three more holes just like this one for fishing. The bar will seat about 20, standing room for a few more. And DirecTV for the latest games and scores.

But how is this all possible? A liquor license was obtained through his business partner, the owner of Hillbillies in Erhard.

Josie Norgren – Business Partner: “There was really no road blocks for us because there was nothing that was stopping us or any law or stipulation that could.”

Sheriff Brian Schlueter – Otter Tail County Sheriff: “Well it will be something new for Otter Tail County for sure.”

Otter Tail County Sheriff Brian Schlueter says there are obvious concerns with the concept, mixing alcohol, ice and driving is never good.

Sheriff Schlueter: “We check all of our liquor establishments in the county on a regular basis and this one will be no exception.”

But for now until the end of the season, Thursday through Sundays from noon until 2 a.m., The Ice Hole Bar is open for business. As for next year, Haugen is already thinking about expanding.

Christ Haugen: “We're looking at Ottertail Lake next year, some of the more popular ice fishing spots are achievable goals in the future for the business.”

A contractor by trade, Haugen says he'll have be turning the bar into a tailgating hot spot in the Fargodome parking lot next fall as the Bison pursue their second straight national championship.

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