I stopped by Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley yesterday, on their opening day. They've been working on this place for what seems like forever, and it's unlike anything I've ever encountered.
To the right of the entrance is the ice cream section for sundaes, scoops, ice cream & cookie sandwiches, and the like. You need to grab a number by the door for this. It was super packed and head a long wait, so we head instead to the soda fountain in the back, for which you don't need a number.
The soda Jerk was really friendly, and told us a bit about the vintage soda fountain, and what distinguishes lactarts from phosphates. We considered getting the candy cap mushroom phosphate, but figured that since it was their first day, we should go with something simpler. The "too good to be true" was a malted butterscotch milkshake with butterscotch syrup, egg, milk, malted cream, and molasses. To make this, the Jerk grabbed two brown eggs from a bowl in front of us, and cracked them with one hand into a cocktail shaker. He added a few other ingredients, did some showy moves, and then shook the drink by hand. It was absolutely delicious and better than the ice cream based shakes I've grown accustomed to. The amount of butterscotch, malty flavor, and cream was wonderfully balanced, and it was smooth, creamy, and not overly sweet. Not sure how popular raw eggs would be with a family crowd, but they're common enough in cocktails nowadays that hopefully not too many people will be sketched out by this.
They're going for a retro vibe both in aesthetics and menu. They also have over twenty house-made extracts, and claim to have over 75 housemade tinctures. Even without a liquor license (yet), I can imagine mixology fetishists having a field day here. Here's their sample menu for the Soda Fountain. Their ice cream & sundae menu is different and I haven't found an online link.
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