Big Gay Ice Cream stores that became hot gathering spots in New York City’s East Village and on Philadelphia’s famed South Street have now shuttered for good amid the pandemic. But there are still four other locations in New York City where one can dig into the Big Gay Ice Cream treats the “Dorothy” or “American Globs.”
Big Gay Ice Cream cofounders Bryan Petroff and Doug Quint announced on Facebook that they decided to permanently close the flagship East Village shop, which had been in business for 10 years, and the Philadelphia location, which had been open for five. The COVID-19 closures were part of the reason for shuttering, they said, but they added that the traffic in the East Village location had changed over the past decade. They wrote on Facebook:
"In its hey day that section of East 7th Street was one of the hottest food blocks in the city. For almost a decade our shop hummed along, putting Salty Pimps in the hands of folks from Tierra Del Fuego to Lapland. It made many people, including us, very happy.
"But now the batteries have gone a bit dim on that street. Empty store fronts, the result of both rising rents and the COVID-19 pandemic, have settled in. Many great businesses have closed. It ain’t what it was. As a seasonal business with no indoor seating we recognize that the location will never truly recover. Therefore, we have decided to call it.”
As for the South Street location, Petroff and Quint wrote that it was the first location outside of New York City and had a good five-year run, but that store did fall victim to safety protocol closures that began last March.
Big Gay Ice Cream’s founders also said they hope to open another store in the East Village or in lower Manhattan in the near future.