It’s a scream! Van Leeuwen goes from truck to storefront

for The Brooklyn Paper

Our days of chasing the Van Leeuwen ice cream truck around town for just one scoop of Earl Grey are just about over.

Next week, the owners of the famous custard-yellow van will open a more permanent storefront on Manhattan Avenue next to the Manhattan Inn, another Greenpoint newcomer.

“It was sort of a natural progression to do a brick-and-mortar store,” said co-owner Laura O’Neill. “A store has a certain appeal — it certainly can’t break down the way a truck can!”

O’Neill, who makes the delightfully rich, less sweet ice cream with her husband Ben Van Leeuwen and brother-in-law Pete Van Leeuwen, is aiming for a grand opening this weekend (though who knows? Last weekend’s planned opening had to be scrubbed).

The tiny shop will feature all the same goods as the trucks (Intelligentsia Coffee, the same 12 delicious flavors of ice cream), plus new items like sundaes, banana splits and a full line of muffins, cookies, cakes and other delectables by Van Leeuwen pal Chelsea Wilkes.

Word has it Ben Van Leeuwen is in the process of dreaming up a new palm sugar ice cream flavor, too.

Of course, those of you who enjoy chasing down your food will be pleased to know that the Van Leeuwen truck will continue to roam the city. But if there’s anything more appealing than ice cream in Februay, it’s not having to wait outdoors for it.

Van Leeuwen [632 Manhattan Ave. between Nassau and Norman Avenues in Greenpoint, (718) 701-1630].

Reader Feedback

Karen Schulz says:
OMG-- I am related to someone who has a real store in NYC-- HOw cool is that---

Next time I come up to NY I will put you on the places to stop by-- Right up their with FAO Swartz, Macys and Nancy--- :-)
Feb. 26, 2010, 12:19 pm
emilyahn from bed-stuy says:
yes, yes! my boyfriend lives in this neighborhood and the addition of van leeuwen makes me very excited to spend more time in the area.
come spring/summer... i'm looking forward to brunch [or a killer pork belly sandwich] from manhattan inn, then hop next door for the best vanilla or hazelnut ice creams i've ever tasted, and then off for a nice walk thru the park. looking forward!!
Feb. 26, 2010, 1:59 pm

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