FROM Big Gay Ice Cream:
“With great sadness, but with no regrets,” Bryan and Doug have decided that Big Gay Ice Cream will not be reopening its East Village and Philadelphia locations.
125 East 7th Street was our first shop and where Big Gay Ice Cream became more than just our summer hobby. Big Gay Ice Cream Truck had become a legitimate success, so in 2011 we decided that was what we were supposed to do with our lives. We signed the lease, quit our day jobs, and built ourselves a perfectly imperfect hole-in-the-wall soft-serve joint.
In its heyday that section of East 7th Street was one of the hottest food blocks in the city. For almost a decade our shop hummed along, putting Salty Pimps in the hands of folks from Tierra Del Fuego to Lapland. It made many people, including us, very happy.
But now the batteries have gone a bit dim on that street. Empty storefronts, the result of both rising rents and the COVID-19 pandemic, have settled in. Many great businesses have closed. It ain’t what it was. As a seasonal business with no indoor seating, we recognize that the location will never truly recover. Therefore, we have decided to call it.
1351 South Street in Philadelphia was our first location outside New York City. That location opened in 2015 after a few years of us doing special events in the city. We had five fun years at that location, but it too has become another COVID closure. We hope to return to a new Philadelphia location. For now, we’ve put the entire shop in storage.
Fortunately, we have reopened both our Upper West Side (516 Columbus Avenue) and West Village (61 Grove Street) locations. We encourage you to visit those locations to help us get through this tough winter season. We are continuing to work with our South Street Seaport landlord on the best strategy to reopen that location.
Thank you all for making wonderful memories at our first shop, and thank you to the East Village for having us. We hope to be able to open a new location in the East Village or Lower East Side at some point in the future. Until that happens, goodbye East 7th Street and goodbye Philadelphia. So long and thanks for all the calories.