Why Are the Urinals at 801 Chophouse Filled with Ice?

Categories: Fun Facts

14.07.21_801ChophouseBathroom2_CarolineYoo.jpg
Caroline Yoo

When our photographer went into the men's room at 801 Chophouse (137 Carondelet Plaza; 314-875-9900) to shoot a portrait for our roundup of the 10 Most Beautiful Bathrooms in St. Louis, the manager wanted to make sure that each urinal contained a fresh bucket of ice.

What? Ice in the urinal? We had to know more, so we called the manager and got the full story.

See also: The 10 Best Restaurant Bathrooms (AKA the Finest Loos in the Lou)

It turns out, this is actually an old-fashioned method of odor elimination that is cheaper than typical urinal cakes or deodorant pads, and, to some, a more elegant solution. The ice cools the air around the urinal, and, as cool air sinks, it traps and washes away any olfactory unpleasantness through a drain in the floor.

"It hearkens back to the time of speakeasies and saloons in New York City when ventilation in buildings was subpar," says general manager Ian Rockwell. "It's a fun touchstone to an era that's no longer around."

Iced urinals are actually standard at all five 801 Chophouse locations around the country. All new employees are given a tour of the kitchen and restrooms for the express purpose of demonstrating the venue's commitment to cleanliness. The urinals, treated with fresh ice every hour, are a point of pride.

At the time of construction, the contractor thought this might be the only restaurant in St. Louis that uses this method. Seen ice in the urinals anywhere else around town? Let us know!

Follow Sara Graham on Instagram at @SaraSunshineSTL and Twitter at @SaraSunshineSTL. E-mail the author at saralouisegraham@yahoo.com.




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61 comments
ut_4_me
ut_4_me topcommenter

Why the fuck do I want to see a urinal on the restaurants page of the RFT?

optinstl
optinstl

The environmental implications of this bother me.  Ice is expensive to the planet.

Матео Кошдл
Матео Кошдл

The AB tanker trucks come by every morning and slurp it up. I learned all of this on the AB brewery tour.

Матео Кошдл
Матео Кошдл

Like the others have mentioned, it's the first step in the cold brewing process for AB beer.

Brian Sieve
Brian Sieve

Every bar I worked in Chicago does this

Mark Petrinelli
Mark Petrinelli

honestly that's disgusting, now theres an expo about piss and shit about a chop house... no thanks..

Kevin Baker
Kevin Baker

That's where they keep the extra ice before they pour you a drink..,bottoms up

Anya Corson Kaufman
Anya Corson Kaufman

It's an old school thing that used to be done and 801 is going for that "old school steakhouse vibe". And yes, it was done back then to cut down on smell and bacterial growth, now it makes for men to aim properly ;)

Bill Hennig
Bill Hennig

So the pee doesn't splash on your legs or others

Scott Johnston
Scott Johnston

I might be just pissing into the wind here but I'd guess it cuts down on the urine smell....

Ronnie Fisher
Ronnie Fisher

Stops the the bounce of the stream and men don't flush.

Ross Jearold
Ross Jearold

strip clubs have done it for years. cold = no bacteria plus the melting ice is a constant flush for those that forget

Bob Cat
Bob Cat

Link case the blues want an appropriate practice rink?

Kevin Harrington
Kevin Harrington

Ice allows them to chill and collect the urine more easily for bottling as Busch light.

Erin McMahon
Erin McMahon

Obviously you have no class....and therefor can't see the sophisticated reason why they do the things they do it is literally beyond you

Kenneth Lane
Kenneth Lane

To provide a steady flow of water to slow flush the drains--due to lack of follow through by users. Had restaurant once and it is a problem at times.

Rick G'Sell
Rick G'Sell

Cuts splash and keeps the room smelling fresher.

Tim Wynter-Stoner
Tim Wynter-Stoner

For some reason I'd prefer not to see ice in the urinals of a restaurant that serves drinks.

Megan R. Ryan
Megan R. Ryan

Kevin, this must be Venice Cafe's intention... so fancy.

Tim Oyer
Tim Oyer

Hofbrauhaus in Wrigleyville has been doing this as long as i remember. it's cool to try to see how much ice you can melt, too....i'm willing to bet it gives us something to aim at and keeps the place cleaner, too :)

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

It does cut down on the smell. Iced urine can't host bacteria. No bacteria. No smell.

Karen Swanner
Karen Swanner

Jason Bohannon, I found the comments more entertaining than the article lol

David Dwars
David Dwars

To keep your beer cold while you are peeing.

Michael Crane
Michael Crane

Whatever you do, don't try this in standard toilets... doesn't translate well.

Charles Miller
Charles Miller

I was there this weekend. The bathrooms smelled fine. The scotch selection was great. The steak was okay. The appetizer was not very good. Over all I give it a 2 out of 4 urinals full of ice.

Robert E Heatherly
Robert E Heatherly

Amazing that they've never seen or heard of this before. Don't get out much?

Kim Schaefer Lehnhoff
Kim Schaefer Lehnhoff

It's the only way to be sure they're use the urinal, instead of peeing all over the floor and walls.

Jeff Fennell
Jeff Fennell

It's also fun for the guys to see how much ice they can melt while relieving themselves

Jason Steinkamp
Jason Steinkamp

Because it feels good and is fun to piss on a bunch of ice.

Jeff Diekemper
Jeff Diekemper

Shorty's Tavern in Albers, IL still drops ice into their urinal.

Derek Burns
Derek Burns

It also helps the fruit flies from breading in the drains.

Jesse Irwin
Jesse Irwin

Seriously, I've seen this at at least a dozen places and I'm only 33.

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