FORT GREENE — Icy temperatures will be no match for icy treats this season, as the Fort Grace ice cream stand gears up to stay open year-round.
Fort Grace, which has operated out of a small wooden hut with a to-go window at its owners' hotspot The General Greene for the past four years, has moved indoors into the restaurant’s former storage space, organizers said.
Now its staff is ready to serve ice cream 12 months a year for the first time.
“The ice cream stand became so popular that we thought it should be open all year,” said manager and pastry chef Elle Lawrence. “We decided to try something that is not seasonal and expand our menu.”
Fort Grace was the brainchild of The General Greene owner Charles McMickens, who built the stand to give his son — then in high school — a place to work during the summers.
McMickens began by making small-batch, homemade ice cream and selling it from the hut’s window. But demand grew each year and the line sometimes ran down the sidewalk.
Because of Fort Grace’s popularity, McMickens felt it was time to make it a full-time gig and chose Lawrence — a culinary school graduate and cofounder of the local candy outfit Raaka Chocolate — to run the show.
Lawrence named the shop Fort Grace Local and created a new menu that includes pastries, pies and seasonal treats — along with the same homemade ice creams that drew crowds from the start.
She is particularly excited about Ovaltine chocolate ice cream with a peanut butter crumble that she invented based on her favorite childhood treat; hot chocolate and peanut butter toast.
She also raved about her pie ice cream, which will be made by crushing pie slices directly into ice cream. The pie flavors will rotate, with fresh-baked pumpkin pie worked into vanilla ice cream currently on the menu.
Lawrence also plans to offer vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, low-glycemic goodies because “everyone should be able to enjoy a treat now and then.”