LOGAN SQUARE — The dream of skating with a Negroni and maybe even a piece of fried chicken is once again a reality this winter.
Parson's Chicken & Fish, 2952 W. Armitage Ave., is bringing back its skating rink for a second year.
But during this weekend's opening party there will be one big difference — there's no actual ice.
Parson's installed synthetic ice to ensure that Chicago's fluctuating temperatures don't impact the rink's availability. Attendees use actual skates with blades, and although the surface is a bit slower than actual ice, the skating motion is nearly identical.
Peter Toalson, a partner with Land and Sea Dept., said the restaurant group felt compelled to transition to fake ice, allowing for a full winter season.
"The response was much bigger than we anticipated," Toalson said. "Last year’s rink couldn’t compare to other options in the city as a skating surface, but for some reason people just really responded to it and supported it, enjoyed the drinks, environment, the whole vibe in general."
The 1,500-square-foot rink is currently under a "soft" opening, but the grand opening party for the season will be held from 2-6 p.m. Saturday.
Last year the highly anticipated rink didn't open until mid-January due to mild weather that had prevented the ice from fully freezing. It had been scheduled to open Dec. 12. Temperatures near 50 degrees delayed those plans.
Once again skate rental and use of the rink is free, but a $5 donation toward Big Brothers Big Sisters is suggested.
Parson's is encouraging those who have their own skates to bring them as there is only a limited selection of rentals available.
Parson' is selling a number of special hot drinks this year, including a spiked hot cider with rum or whiskey and two coffee drinks.
The Irish Coffee features Tulamore Dew, sugar, Bow Truss Chooglin’ Blend and whipped cream and a Mexican Coffee has El Buho Mezcal, Bow Truss Chooglin’ Blend and whipped cream.
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