Fat Cat Creamery Opening an Ice Cream Parlor in the Heights

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Supplicant prayers to the food gods were answered more quickly than usual this week, as Fat Cat Creamery announced plans to open a full-service ice cream parlor just two days after Joanna O'Leary's plea for an old-fashioned, over-the-top ice cream shop in Houston.

For years, the Fat Cat Creamery has been making its popular Cat's Meow Mexican Vanilla, Milk Chocolate Stout and Strawberry Buttercream flavors -- as well as a rotating slate of seasonal surprises -- out of the Kraftsmen kitchen in the Heights alongside other notable food purveyors such as Matt Opaleski and Jason Hill of food truck H-Town StrEATs and pastry chef Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar.

The small-batch ice cream is made with only a few key ingredients: whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, egg yolks from hens at The Barry Farm and whichever flavor the Cats -- husband-and-wife team Jarvis and Sarah Johnston -- are making at the time. It's been sold for several years at outlets ranging from Catalina Coffee to Revival Market, but has never been available in a shop of its own until now.

"We are incredibly excited to bring our small-batch ice cream to a retail front," said Sarah Johnston in a press release issued yesterday. "We hope to fill a void for old-fashioned ice cream here in the Heights and to be a part of our block's revitalization."

The Cats' parlor plans to offer 8 to 10 flavors of ice cream, combining five standard flavors with anywhere from three to five rotating seasonal flavors. The shop also plans to feature at least one standard dairy-free and vegan option. In addition, the parlor will host all the old-school accouterments: ice cream floats, ice cream sundaes, milkshakes, malts and old-fashioned sodas blended up with homemade syrups.

The press release also indicates that other "nostalgic ice cream novelties" will be available, including "push-up pops, ice cream sandwiches, bon-bons and 99s, as well as an ever-changing selection of soft serve ice cream." Pints of the Cats' ice cream will, of course, also be available for purchase.

The new ice cream parlor will be located at 1910 N. Shepherd, at the corner of 19th Street in the heart of the Heights, in a shuttered building which previously housed the incongruous Height Automotive Service Center. Although the building was never a restaurant nor anything close to it, the Cats hope to open their new ice cream shop in May or June.

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