Already home to popular restaurants like Duende and Hawker Fare, Uptown Oakland continues to expand its eat and drinking options at a rapid pace (including the upcoming Newberry Market, which will offer prepared food and pizza-by-the-slice and other upscale market options). Yet one thing that's missing is a great scoop shop, something newcomer Little Giant Ice Cream hopes to remedy as soon as possible.
The ice cream shop comes from co-owners Kevin Best (Era Art Bar, B Restaurant & Bar) and Neil Rideout (Cigar Bar), who plan to offer made-from-scratch ice cream that is actually churned on premises. The large space will allow room for a retail operation up front, with the ice cream making facility occupying the back two-thirds of the area, separated by a glass wall to allow guests to check out the whole process.
According to Inside Scoop, the project has been two years in the making, giving Best and Rideout plenty of time for R&D, including a course at Berkey Creamery (the renowned ground zero for ice cream making at Penn State).The ice cream will be "American premium hard scoop," a style which offers a firm texture with a bit of chewiness.
And while most ice cream shops purchase the base for their ice cream from purveyors like Straus Creamery, Little Giant plans to make its own. They've procured a pasteurizer of their own, allowing them to tweak the base recipe to their own specifications— something that will come in especially handy as they develop their flavors. In fact, the partners (who share plenty of bar and restaurant experience), plan to make a variety of special cocktail-themed flavors that rely on the ability to closely control the base. Boozehounds will rejoice at flavors like negroni or old fashioned, while classic and seasonal flavors will also make an appearance. Savory options will also be a point of interest, plus a selection of toppings like olive oils and fancy salts.
The shop plans to open up for Oakland's First Friday celebrations on August 7, serving free samples of their latest creations and offering tours of the new shop.