The ice cream renaissance in Los Angeles continues, outside temperatures notwithstanding. McConnell's Fine Ice Creams, will open its second Los Angeles shop Jan. 21 in Studio City.
The new ice cream shop on Ventura Place is a few doors down from Joan's on Third, in the part of the neighborhood just north of Ventura Boulevard, where the Studio City farmers market fills the area on Sundays. McConnell's took over what was until recently two shops, a tailor and hair salon.
It's now one open lofty space, about 1,200 square feet of white wall and wooden beams, with one entire wall papered with a blow-up of a 1962 postcard of Studio City. Michael Palmer, who owns McConnell's with his wife Eva Ein, was hanging wooden shelves and stocking the walk-in with ice cream at the new location yesterday.
The Studio City shop will carry 22 flavors of the ice cream, which is all made at McConnell's creamery in Santa Barbara, as it has been since Gordon McConnell started McConnell's Fine Ice Creams in 1949. As it does in the first L.A. shop, a small stall in downtown's Grand Central Market, McConnell's will have cookies — made in-house in Studio City — and freshly made waffle cones for your scoops of Eureka lemon and marionberry, salted caramel chip, sea salt cream and cookies, and double peanut butter chip. Here you'll also be able to buy pints of the ice cream.
Outside the shop, there's a new 17-foot wooden bench for ice cream enthusiasts, which will doubtless come in handy for students from the nearby schools, as well as the farmers market crowd. Right now, there's more construction next door — the wooden panels are covered, fittingly, with posters for the late David Bowie's just-released album — where a new coffee shop is going in.
"Studio City has been underserved for a long time," says Palmer, who grew up in Hancock Park and attended Oakwood School in North Hollywood. "At Grand Central, we had to map the architecture," he says, referring to the restrictions of opening a shop in the stalls at the 1917 food courts. "This is the first time we could map what was in our heads."
As for opening an ice cream shop in the middle of winter, Palmer was circumspect. "I think people eat more pints in the winter. Scoops in the summer. But it's California — it's probably 72 right now."
McConnell's in Studio City will soft-open Jan. 21 and have a grand opening the following Thursday, on Jan. 28. Time, as Palmer put it, "to get drunk on ice cream."
12073 Ventura Place, Studio City, www.mcconnells.com.
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