Excellent news for Castro residents with sweet tooths: The Ice Cream Bar, the old-timey soda fountain and ice cream parlor in Cole Valley, is moving in on the former L'Occitane space at 554 Castro Street, near 18th. As Eater reports, the spinoff may or may not bear the same the name, The Ice Cream Bar, but the aim according to owner Juliet Pries is to be open by the fall.
It's not yet clear if, like the Cole Valley location, Pries will be seeking a liquor license (beer-and-wine only), in order to serve the kind of boozy milkshakes and fountain drinks she serves on that original menu e.g. The Dublin Honey, with Guinness stout, caramelized honey ice cream, Valrhona chocolate syrup, and a float of Graham’s 10-year tawny port.
And this announcement follows quickly on the news of a third branch of Easy Breezy, a Noe Valley self-serve frozen yogurt spot with another branch in the Sunset, which is set to open on 18th in the Castro just a few steps away.
The original Ice Cream Bar opened in 2012 after a lengthy ordeal with city planning over what type of restaurant/business Pries intended to open an ordeal that inspired animated video below titled "Hello, City Planner." At the time, Pries became the subject of a New York Times piece mocking SF's convoluted bureaucracy, and she said that during her two-year nightmare of lawyers' fees and change-of-use confusions, "Many times it almost didn’t happen."
Here's hoping this time around the process goes a lot more smoothly.