EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan — An icon of the East Village is closing its doors for good.
The owners of Big Gay Ice Cream announced in a statement to the East Village blog EV Grieve on Friday that they decided to shutter their original East Seventh Street shop.
Known for its unique treats such as the “salty pimp” (vanilla ice cream cone injected with dulce de leche, lightly salted and dipped in a chocolate shell), Big Gay Ice Cream started out as a food truck and has been a staple in the East Village for a decade.
“We always knew that if we ever opened a shop it would be in the East Village. It had to be. In its heyday that section of East Seventh was one of the hottest food blocks in the city — even The New York Times singled it out. We wanted to be right there with Caracas, Luke’s Lobster, Porchetta, Butter Lane and Pylos. Damn, that block had energy and we loved it,” co-owners Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff wrote. “The batteries have gone a bit dim on that street. The empty storefronts (kept vacant by landlords working tax breaks) that plague the city have settled in. It ain’t what it was.”
The pair also said the changing business landscape brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in their decision and that the small East Village shop would never “truly recover.”
Quint and Petroff said they plan to continue operating their other ice cream locations around the city and hope to one day return to the East Village.