Original Big Gay Ice Cream Shop Shutters for Good

Friday January 22, 2021

Original Big Gay Ice Cream Shop Shutters for Good

There weren't enough unicorns and rainbow sprinkles to save Big Gay Ice Cream's original East Village location from shuttering its doors, the latest in a long list of COVID casualties.

The iconic ice cream shop's owners, Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff, shared a message on the East Village blog EV Grieve, stating:

"With great sadness but with no regrets, Bryan and I decided that the time came for Big Gay Ice Cream to close our East Village location.

"125 East Seventh Street is where Big Gay Ice Cream became more than just our overblown hobby. Big Gay Ice Cream Truck grew into a legitimate hit and in 2011 we decided that it was supposed to be what we did with our lives.

"We signed the lease, quit our day jobs, and built ourselves a perfectly imperfect hole-in-the-wall soft serve joint. I would work a late night in the ice cream truck, staying out long enough to be able to afford a prep sink the next day so in a way every Big Gay Ice Cream Truck customer helped build that place.

"For a decade the shop hummed along and put tens of thousands of Salty Pimps in the hands of folks from Tierra Del Fuego to Lapland. It made many people, including us, very happy.

"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.

"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.

"We decided that even if the shop managed to make it through "the COVID thing" it would never truly recover. We need to be able to jam customers in during the summer to make enough money to get us through the off season. That won't work anymore. Knowing that the usual fall semester student rush won't be coming this year we have decided to call it.

"Thank you all for making wonderful memories at our first shop and thank you to the East Village for having us. We're going to "keep on keeping on" at our other locations and hope to open another East Village or Lower East Side location before too long.

"Goodbye East Seventh. So long and thanks for all the calories."

Big Gay Ice Cream joins a growing list of LGBTQ establishments that have gone out of business due to the pandemic. Recent closings include the Faultline in West Hollywood, and Therapy in New York City and Re-bar in Seattle, among others.

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