Out in the frigid cold, at the confluence of the Red and the Assiniboine Rivers, RAW:almond, the pop-up restaurant on the ice, will open it's flap once again.

In addition to new elements already announced, such as celebrity chefs and a tapas bar, RAW:almond features new design components created by designer Joe Kalturnyk.

More elaborate design
"I went all out this year," said Kalturnyk. The design, resembling an enormous shard of ice, features peaks rising and twisting out of the ice. The tarp goes over the pipes and scaffolding just in time for the first service.

More comfortable for diners 
Once again, there will be one long communal table for diners. But this year the 40-foot long log table will actually be heated. As well, there will be insulation underneath to keep people's feet warmer. The wooden seats will be covered with real sheepskin fur. "We're doing everything we can to make sure that people stay warm on those extra cold nights," he said.

Improved Kitchen
Last year's experience revealed what worked and what didn't, so Kalturnyk has ramped-up the kitchen area. "This is an attempt to give them a semblance of a kitchen that they're used to. It will retain the heat a bit better and just be more civilized."

Joe Kalturnyk, designer of RAW: almond

A frosty Joe Kalturnyk supervises construction of RAW:almond. (Marcy Markusa/CBC)

Mood lighting
The grand hallway will come alive with dancing lights and a projection wall will feature programming by Open City Cinema, an underground filmmakers cinema group. They plan to show silent films and art films, including some by Guy Maddin.

Architecture competition
Kalturnyk's dream is to launch an international architecture competition for next year's restaurant-on-ice structure.

RAW:almond will serve dinner, tapas and weekend brunch for three weeks starting Jan. 24.