It's almost time for local Millennials' Instagram feeds to be flooded with very similar photos taken in a sprinkle pool, in a swing under some pink bananas, and hugging a unicorn statue with a tiny ice cream cone in their hand. Yes, the Museum of Ice Cream, SF edition, opens to the public this weekend. And if you were quick-fingered and lucky enough to snag a ticket for its first block of time, which sold out in less than an hour and a half, then you'll be getting first dibs at those Insta opps in the next couple of months. The run has already been extended to February, with a second round of tickets going on sale to the public tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.. (A second Amex cardholder pre-sale already sold out.)
Why is everyone dying to give the MOIC $38 just for the pleasure of snapping pics and getting what amounts to one free scoop of ice cream and a couple other treats? I'm really not sure!! As Eater puts it today, the brief New York run for the museum, where the tickets were far cheaper but whose value skyrocketed on the secondary market, "generated feverish fans and FOMO with ticket sales reaching Hamilton levels of scarcity." A subsequent LA run, which is still ongoing and has been extended twice, garnered Instas from Kardashians and Beyonce, and I'm telling you I still do not get it unless you have kids with you, in which case, yeah, this is basically just a playspace where they're allowed to touch everything, and might end up swallowing some plastic sprinkles. Also, I don't get the Color Factory, and that's been crazy popular too.
When you arrive, you'll be greeted by one of the pink-clad staff, most of whom seem to have traveled from one of the previous iterations of the museum and are thus new to SF, who introduce themselves by their "ice cream name," which involves their favorite flavor and goes something like "Mint Chocolate Michelle" or "Cookie Dough Dave." Then they will try to give you an ice cream name.
The MOIC has had some fun with creating a warren of rooms in the basement of the former Emporio Armani / Savings Union Bank building at One Grant Avenue, all surrounding a bank vault door they unearthed in the reno process but which does not actually get opened as part of the tour.
The initial weeks will feature a signature scoop of an exclusive Bi-Rite Creamery flavor, Ginger Snap, which comes as a tiny sundae with strawberry sauce on top in one of the first rooms of the "museum" which is just a series of rooms decorated mostly in pink, with various candy-coated themes, meant primarily for selfies and photo-taking. Later exclusive treats will reportedly come from Salt & Straw, and IT'S-IT.
At the end of the series of rooms and after a dunk in the sprinkle pool (up on the main level), there is an opportunity to pay for a scoop of "sprinkle pool"-flavored ice cream ($4), as well as a retail shop where they are selling $12 jars of plastic sprinkles that I guess you could put in a bowl and hope no one tries to eat?
Anyway, by all means, give them $38 so you can get your own photos! They've already grossed something like $2 million and they haven't even opened yet! (There is, at least, a charity partner, and that's Creative Growth.)
Hooray for Millennials and things you don't have to think too hard about! (And ice cream!)