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Sweet scoop! Local creamery coming to historic low-rise building in Slope • Brooklyn Paper

Sweet scoop! Local creamery coming to historic low-rise building in Slope

In with the old: Hidrock Development is refurbishing a dilapidated space at 192 Prospect Park West to the tune of $1,000,000, which renderings show will embody an old-timey vibe.
Hidrock Development

It’s history repeating — with ice cream!

Honchos of a popular Brooklyn-based creamery announced Friday that they will scoop their frozen confections at a new location inside a historic Prospect Park West building that once hosted an old-timey ice-cream parlor in the 1930s.

“We are thrilled to open on Prospect Park West,” Ample Hills Creamery’s husband-and-wife founders Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna said in a joint statement. “It seems like a natural fit for us to perpetuate the legacy of a place where people can come together and enjoy ice cream with their friends and family.”

The duo’s newest scoop shop will open inside the long-vacant, low-rise building at 192 Prospect Park West on Bartel-Pritchard Square, which a builder is restoring to its former splendor by referencing photos of the original parlor that served sweet treats there nearly a century ago, according to a spokesman.

“We took our inspiration from what was presumably the original façade that we found records of in the 30s,” said Hidrock Properties rep John Field. “It’s not exact, but a friendly interpretation of that time.”

The developer originally planned to turn Ample Hills’s new home and its neighbor, the Pavilion Theater, into a condominium with a cinema after Landmarks Preservation Commission officials approved its makeover of the buildings, which sit in the protected Park Slope Historic District Extension.

But locals threw a fit over the scheme, leading Hidrock to sell the theater in 2016 to a group of investors that contracted Nitehawk Cinema as the sole tenant of the Pavilion, which is under renovation and set to reopen later this year.

The developer will spend $1 million refurbishing the former home of Circles restaurant with 19th-century-style embellishments including new cornices, wood-frame windows, detailing, and period lighting in a landmarks-commission approved makeover lauded by other influential preservationists.

“This is a reminder that with the right combination of ownership and regulation, even long-neglected sites can be returned to their former selves,” Historic Districts Council members wrote to the commission in the support of its development.

The Prospect Park West building contains two units, one with cellar access and another with a rooftop that offers stellar views of Prospect Park. Ample Hills will move into the latter, according to a spokeswoman.

The local creamery opened its first parlor in Prospect Heights in 2011, and has since earned numerous accolades for its frozen desserts, including a top honor from some critics over at the Food Network, who named its “It Came from Gowanus” flavor as America’s best.

Hidrock honchos are waiting for the Department of Buildings to approve permits before they can begin the renovation, and Field expects Ample Hills to move in sometime this fall, he said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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