On Wednesday, Hypnotic Donuts celebrates the grand opening of its latest sweet endeavor: Hypnotic Emporium, an old-school soda fountain, ice cream spot and candy store opening next door to the quirky East Dallas doughnut shop.
Hypnotic Emporium isn't a trendy wink at the old-fashioned soda fountain – the music, the server's outfits and the classic candy offerings are un-ironically old school. Sure, some ice cream flavors – lavender honey, after-dinner mint, honey whiskey – are decidedly modern, but the vibe is classic. During our visit at 3 p.m. on a weekday, most of the clientele were chocolate-smeared kids enjoying a post-school brain freeze. It's sweet, it's wholesome, it's ice cream. You can't argue with that.
There are some not-so-classic options, of course, like the Dream, your choice of ice cream sandwiched between Hypnotic doughnut halves. Once scooped into your sandwich, just enough heat and pressure is applied that the donut warms without turning its insides into a gloopy mess. It lacks the classic crunch that comes from a standard cookie exterior but is a worthy sweet treat nonetheless.
Hypnotic's ice cream comes from Denton favorite Beth Marie's Old Fashioned Ice Cream, which also distributes to Metzler's BBQ, UNT's Apogee Stadium and every Central Market in Texas. Hypnotic Owner James St. Peter said he considered making his own ice cream but reconsidered after witnessing Blue Bell's troubles last year. "I thought, do we want to get into all that?" he says. Luckily Beth Marie's is a delicious – and local – option. The biggest seller so far has been the lavender honey ice cream (which we guarantee will be your fav. flavor come summer) and Beth Marie's is making custom flavors for Hypnotic, including one based on their most popular doughnut: the Evil Elvis. Much like its doughy contemporary, the ice cream is made with peanut butter, banana and bacon.
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Another fun part of Hypnotic Emporium: the classic candy selection, which takes up half the space and allows you to uber-personalize your ice cream. Any purchased candy can be added to your ice cream/milk shake/sundae/et al at no extra charge. Charleston Chew, Abba-Zaba, even candy cigarettes and Big League Chew – chances are, at least one of these candies is liable to send you into a nostalgia tailspin. For me, it was those little soda bottle-shaped wax containers of colored sugar water which are apparently called Nik-L-Nips. Who knew?
When the shop officially opens Wednesday, everything will be fully up and running except for the soda fountain, which is experiencing technical difficulties and should be ready soon, St. Peter said. Don't skip the waffle and pretzel cones, which are made in-house – and get freaky with your ice cream selections. This is no place for unadorned bowls of vanilla ice cream – you'll miss an entire world of sweet, wholesome fun.
Hypnotic Emporium, 9005 Garland Road, facebook.com/hypnoticemporium