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New Restaurant Will Charge Drinkers for Fancy Ice

Is charging for frozen water going too far?


It's commonplace to pay more for top-shelf liquor, but what about top-shelf ice? According to Washington City Paper, Second State — a new restaurant opening in D.C. tomorrow — will charge patrons one dollar for artisanal ice cubes of the fancy, unclouded variety. But don't actually call it an ice cube when ordering, the restaurant's menu dubs it a "hand-cut rock."

The fee only comes into play when a customer orders a drink like a negroni or a martini that does not typically come with ice. For certain drinks the "rock" is included. So why the fee in the first place? Bar manager Phil Clark tells the Washington City Paper that the ice is "crystal clear. It's purified water, so there's no mineral-y taste." Plus, Second State is actually purchasing the cubes from Favorite Ice, a boutique ice company. Apparently the restaurant will not actually make a profit on the ice: "When you factor in delivery costs, it's actually a loss leader."

Second State isn't the first restaurant to charge for higher-end ice. The now-closed restaurant and lounge The Darby in New York City used to charge customers two dollars for ice to go with their cocktails.