Living in Bushwick, it can start to feel like a new bar opens up at least once a week. It’s not a problem, exactly, but a little variety wouldn’t necessarily hurt. You can’t drink (or eat brunch) at all hours of the day. Or at least, you probably shouldn’t. Francisco Garcia, owner and operator of Evergreen Ice Cream co., apparently felt the same way. “I saw an opening,” Garcia explained of the shop, which opens to the public on Saturday. “I wanted to do something that anyone could enjoy, and the neighborhood doesn’t have anything like this. And when my girlfriend and I get dinner in the area, the question’s always been, ‘Where are we going for dessert?’”
So, in a small radius that’s seen the opening of Bizarre, Silent Barn, Bossa Nova Civic Club, and the newly revived Market Hotel within the past six months alone, there’s now an ice cream parlor. Garcia’s in a unique position to gage demand, having actually grown up in the neighborhood and watched his family-owned building on the corner of Evergreen and Jefferson go through countless iterations, including a hardware store, the base of a Dominican political party, and something he tactfully says was “supposedly a bodega.”
Meaning, then, that a change was welcome. Especially when change comes in the form of loving renovations (he tracked down and transported a 120-year-old counter all the way from Maine) and ice cream supplied from Greenpoint’s Phin & Phebes along with
Jane’s, an upstate company known for supplying ice cream to the Carlysle and Saks 5th Avenue. With equipment from Gomberg Seltzer Works, Garcia is also playing around with a rotating menu of sundaes, floats, and homemade sodas, alongside carefully chosen toppings (“There’s won’t be any gummy worms,” he noted). All a significant step up from the Mr. Softee truck that loudly set up camp directly outside the shop on the afternoon we visited. With such a wide range of options (and a purposefully low price point), Garcia’s hoping to attract what he calls “a mix of old and new Bushwick,” but says that in Evergreen’s early stages, at least, older residents haven’t shown as much interest as new transplants, who’ve regularly stopped in to ask about the space. He laughed, “I think they all assume it’s just another bar.”
Evergreen Ice Cream Co., 144 Evergreen Ave.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.