Ice Cream Wasted, a reservation-only tasting room that provides vegan-friendly and alcohol-infused ice cream “experiences,” moves into Dallas’ Bishop Arts District on Sunday, June 16, with a grand-opening party from noon to 6 p.m.
In addition to free 80-proof ice cream shots for the first 1,000 people in line at 509 W. Davis St., the in-store event will include free Hubert’s Lemonade and bites from other neighborhood shops like Bolsa Mercado and Emporium Pies, giveaways and the opportunity to meet the owner and creator of Ice Cream Wasted, Bri Calloway.
In January, Calloway opened the first Ice Cream Wasted location in Plano, and positive word of mouth — “I didn’t really have to do any marketing,” Calloway says — led to months of sold-out tastings. However, the Plano location will now be used “strictly for manufacturing purposes,” Calloway says, with the exception of some private parties and the occasional pop-up event. Meanwhile, the Bishop Arts location will take over as the primary venue for tastings and other events.
“My main focus from this point on is definitely going to be Bishop Arts,” Calloway says.
At the new location, customers can dress up their ice cream with an assortment of vegan or nonvegan toppings, but the ice cream’s base will stay the same: dairy free, egg free and made with 100 percent organic coconut milk.
“I wanted something that, when you read the ingredients list, is all natural, and everyone can recognize the ingredients instead of having to Google them,” Calloway says.
The Bishop Arts location also will provide larger portions for its themed menus, beginning with the July-August series Summer Soiree. The menus are fixed for each seasonal, three- to four-course series, but during general tasting appointments, which also can be booked on the Ice Cream Wasted website, customers receive four portions of whatever flavors are available.
“If I felt like waking up that day and creating something different,” Calloway says, “then those people get to try it.”
Popular flavors at past tastings include orange dreamsicle spiked with Dripping Springs vodka and vanilla bean infused with Texas Ale Project beer — both of which Calloway is considering for the ice cream shots at the Bishop Arts party. Calloway's colorful and decadent ice cream creations are usually 25 percent alcohol by volume but can go up to 40 percent if she decides to incorporate a moonshine or Everclear.
"It can go up to the proof of the actual [liquor]," she says, "so if you eat a spoonful, it’s like drinking a shot.”
For Calloway, everything about her concept was a no-brainer. First, “milk and ice and alcohol is gross,” she says. “I don’t know why people do it.” Second, she says she’s always found traditional scoop shops “boring,” mostly because of their ubiquity, and wanted to try something different.
"Why stick to a script?" she says. "I don't like to do what other people do or be told what I can't do. I've always done my own thing."
And although she can customize her ice cream to be nonalcoholic, Calloway says that she tends to draw an older and more epicurean crowd anyway.
"More people who are older than 21 are wanting this experience, versus younger people who just want to go to Baskin Robbins," Calloway says. "Most kids aren't going to spend $45 to $55 on ice cream, so my age group tends to fall toward the working class."
She also tries to group the appointments so that 10 to 16 people come in at one time.
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“I love the fact that I can usually get a group of strangers together who didn’t know a thing about each other before or maybe wouldn’t even look at each other on a regular day and get them to sit down and share a new experience, and most of them make friends,” Calloway says. “Sometimes it’s five couples or two groups of friends and a couple; it’s pretty mixed and diverse.”
Thus the move to a bustling and trendy neighborhood like Bishop Arts was strategic, Calloway says, as the city's culinary scene is "growing and expanding" like she's never seen before.
"Dallas used to be pretty quiet," she adds, "and now it has a nice buzz to it.”
Ice Cream Wasted, 509 W. Davis St.