How It All Started
Like every great success story, there is usually a peculiar story behind it and ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL London is no different. Instead of giving you the PR spin, we wil tell you how it all really happened straight from the Director's mouth.
Director, Fred Olsson gives us the lowdown...
"The initial idea was to open a cocktail bar but as time went along and we had looked at many locations, we finally ended up at Heddon street. Having presented a standard idea for a cocktail bar to the landlord, they told us that they had many suitors for the property in the past that they had already turned down due to the fact that the idea was too plain." explains Fred.
Back to the drawing table and brainstorming ideas when Fred was thinking about his Swedish heritage and the fabled icehotel in Sweden - having a hard time to convince Alex and Simon (the other Directors) about the concept, they all got on to a plane to check out ICEBAR STOCKHOLM.
"Although also operated in 40 minutes slots we remained in ICEBAR STOCKHOLM for 4 hours and managed to get though the entire drinks menu. We were sold on the idea and that this would be the right thing for London. The rest of the evening was spent re-writing the business plan which started its life on a paper napkin! Once done we were going to celebrate with a final drink, just for Alex to spill his wine on the disolvable paper napkin" laughs Fred.
Back in London (and with a new business plan) the landlord immediately liked the new and unique idea and not 'too' long afterwards, ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL London was born. "I wish I could say that the rest is history, but it took us another 1.5 years of hard work convincing Westminster of giving us a license of the venue and to sort financing out, and another 101 things that we had no idea about." says Fred and so the story is born.
The area of Heddon St and its surrounds have quite a colourful and rich history dating back to 1585, having survived the devastation of WWII bombing raids that decimated London, through to the swinging 60's and 70's, where it became famous for the album art of David Bowie's 1972 ground breaking 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.'
To this day, you are still able to stand and make a phone call in the very same red phone box, that is on his album cover. After 500 years, the area has undergone many changes, owners, been a part of British history, ruled by Kings and Queens (even today, is owned by HRH Queen Elizabeth II) and now is home to a vibrant square with restaurants, bars, fashion agents and the world famous ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL London.