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Soft Swerve Now Serving Up Locally Themed Cones on the Lower East Side

By Allegra Hobbs | December 5, 2016 5:08pm
 Ube soft serve with toasted coconut flakes, left, and matcha soft serve, right, both served on a black chocolate cone.
Ube soft serve with toasted coconut flakes, left, and matcha soft serve, right, both served on a black chocolate cone.
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Soft Swerve

LOWER EAST SIDE — A new soft serve spot on Allen Street is serving up some local love with special desserts named for New York City locations.

Soft Swerve, which opened its doors at 85B Allen St. on Dec. 2, offers up matcha, black sesame, vanilla and ube — or purple yam — flavors for swirling and topping with a selection of cereals and sweets, and can be served in black chocolate or red cinnamon cones.

And while patrons are free to customize their own treats by mixing flavors and toppings, a special menu boasts combinations named for nearby city spots, such as Astor Place, consisting of matcha soft serve with cornflakes and mochi, and St. Marks Place, made up of matcha soft serve with with red bean paste and mochi.

"Coming up with the menu, we started thinking about how we came up with the inspiration for the ice cream and our roots in the neighborhood," explained Michael Tsang, who runs the business with his longtime friend Jason Liu.

A dessert called Mott and Mulberry — matcha soft serve topped with crushed Oreos and chocolate drizzle — has special sentimental value for the owners, who were born and raised in Chinatown, said Tsang, explaining the two streets represent the cross-section of Chinatown, known for its green tea, and Little Italy, known for its chocolate-stocked bakeries.

"Mott and Mulberry means a lot to us," said Tsang. "We thought it would be cute because the green tea represents Mott Street and the chocolate represents Mulberry."

The menu also includes treats named for Division Street in the Lower East Side and Woodside, Queens.

The shop enjoyed a wildly successful grand opening on Friday — so successful that Tsang and Liu were forced to close the doors Saturday through Monday in order to restock, said Tsang, who said they took roughly 800 orders on opening day. The pair hopes to have the shop up and running again by 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

"We just could not imagine such a great turnout and we sold out of ice cream," said Tsang, noting the new shop's closure has not gone unnoticed by its many fans.

"We're still getting messages and calls because people are eager for us to open again," he said.

The owners took to social media to thank patrons for the turnout and explain the temporary closure.