Ice Cream Bar Turns One, Launches Week of Deals
Ice Cream Bar (815 Cole) opened in January 2012, the culmination of two years' work from owner Juliet Pries, who took her expertise from the bar world (she was previously a part-owner of Kezar Pub) and applied it to her vision of a soda fountain for kids and adults of all ages. It wasn't easy, and Pries says she encountered bad luck at every turn when trying to secure various permits, but the long effort paid off with an establishment that was instantly embraced by multiple generations.
Tamara Palmer Ice Cream Bar offers specials all next week for its first anniversary.
"It's been amazing," reflects Pries. "I didn't expect it to be so busy -- it's more than I expected. And people's reaction to it has been amazing, too. People have gotten into the experience and the decor a lot more than I imagined."
The past 12 months have seen substantial additions to the Ice Cream Bar, including a beer/wine license (and creative adult ice cream soda concoctions) and a savory menu of comforting soups and entrees such as a black bean burger, pulled pork sandwich, and hot dog, all on bread baked right in their kitchen. This solid diner aspect even attracts locals (some up to three times a week!) who don't necessarily have a sweet tooth. It shouldn't just be a well-kept secret of the neighborhood, though Pries loves being known by her neighbors.
Tamara Palmer Caramel Apple ice cream soda at Ice Cream Bar.
"Kids point and say, 'That's the ice cream lady!' I'm like, 'Awww!'"
One lesson learned after being open for a few months is that people aren't afraid to try new flavors. "At the beginning, we stuck with some standards but now we change it very seasonally," she says. That said, some of the opening flavors like cherry and roasted pineapple are now back for the birthday.
Each day next week will feature a different special in honor of the Ice Cream Bar anniversary. Russell Davis, who created the soda fountain program, will be a guest jerk from 7-9 p.m. on Jan. 21; that day's special is buy one get one free junior scoop. Other specials include buy one get one free Russell's Sassafras Root Beer (Jan. 22), buy a scoop and get a free topping of your choice (Jan. 23), buy a hot chocolate or hot butterscotch drink and get one free (Jan. 24), and buy one Angostura Phosphate and get one free (Jan. 25). There may be additional spontaneous deals that pop up during that time.
Pries hints at some fun possibilities to come at Ice Cream Bar. They've recently built a display wall for candies; she foresees that they'll eventually stock it with house-made treats like toffee and marshmallows. She's also mulling the idea of a weekend brunch when the weather warms up in a few months, which would surely be a fun addition to an already brunch-happy hood.