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.
Thank you NYC for the love you showed us today. We could never have imagined such an amazing turn out! We are left breathless as we have no more ice cream left for the weekend. We sold out of ube at 4PM, then black sesame and matcha later in the night at 10PM. We're proud to announce that we use only premium ingredients in our ice cream and as a result, it takes much longer to prepare. Please forgive us as we know many of you have plans to visit us over the weekend - we really are completely sold out. Please stay tuned on our Facebook & Instagram page, we will make an announcement soon with a date on when we plan to re-open. We love you guys. -Soft Swerve