San Francisco is no slouch in the ice cream department, with creative homegrown scoop shops popping up all over town and newcomers like Portland’s Salt & Straw staking out turf. Now the artisanal ice cream scene has one less mass-produced competitor, with the recent closure of SF’s last Baskin-Robbins at 570 Battery St.
It stands to reason that running a franchise like Baskin-Robbins could be a challenge these days, when the city’s love of artisanal flavors includes black sesame, yuzu, bacon, and taro root — although, who can say no to a vat of mass-produced pink bubblegum ice cream? (Clearly more than a few people.)
SF’s only other Baskin-Robbins shop closed in 2012 at 2250 Irving Street. It’s now a boba tea shop called Wondertea, serving tea flavors like the “Potted Plant,” a matcha green tea latte topped with Oreo crema crunch, and Hong Kong-style egg puffs.
According to brand representatives for the company, which is owned by Dunkin’ Donuts:
“Baskin-Robbins is committed to the city of San Francisco, and it’s currently open for future restaurant development for the brand. Entrepreneurs who may be interested in opening a Baskin-Robbins shop in San Francisco can visit www.baskinrobbinsfranchising.com for more information.”
While SF entrepreneurs scrounge up the courage to open a chain within the city limits, BR fans hungry for Gold Medal Ribbon™ or any of the chain’s other classic flavors can head over to the last two Bay Area shops in Daly City and Emeryville.
They’ll also be releasing some horrifying new sundaes for made-up holiday National Ice Cream Day (July 15), dubbed “freak shakes.” The Unicorn Freak Shake is a cotton candy milkshake with a scoop of cotton candy ice cream, topped with Charms Fluffy Stuff Cotton Candy, Airheads (yes, THOSE Airheads from the ‘90s) Xtreme Rainbow Berry Sweetly Sour candy strips, a sugar cone, and garnished with a cherry, rainbow sprinkles, marshmallows and whipped topping. This nightmare (and others like it) will be available through July 31. Godspeed.