Geraldine Kim and Josh Gertzen didn't take the easy route when they opened their Uptown ice cream shop, Frozen Matter, in April 2016. They installed dairy pasteurizing equipment in the shop's kitchen so they could make their own ice cream base (rather than buying it from larger dairies), and they also built a hidden bar called Retrograde in the back. Three years later, the couple has added a second Frozen Matter at 1061 South Gaylord Street.
Kim and Gertzen threw open the doors to Washington Park residents on the last weekend of June, welcoming guests into the long, narrow space. Gertzen says the shop is about the same size as the original Frozen Matter, only the kitchen is much smaller, since the ice cream bases and housemade ingredients (cookies, brittles and caramel, for example) are brought from the main store.
Frozen Matter regulars will find the same lineup of flavors that are served in Uptown, but Kim says the new shop has a few surprises in store, including a "Luxe Line" of upscale flavors. "We have a lot of customers who were excited about our more unusual flavors, so we wanted a way to serve a limited-edition line," she explains.
The first in the new lineup is called Space Junk (available this week, while supplies last), and it's the result of unusual cocktail techniques being used at Retrograde. Kim explains that the bar makes fat-washed whiskey by blending bourbon and butter (the bourbon picks up buttery flavor while leaving the fat behind). The bartenders also make orgeat (a nut-flavored syrup) using almonds or pistachios. Space Junk is flavored with the leftover bourbon butter and ground nuts, giving the ice cream a boozy hint and a nut-brittle flavor.
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Ruby Road will also soon debut. "It's a play on Rocky Road," Kim describes, "only made with a ruby port reduction, Valrhona chocolate, cacao nibs and raspberry-flavored marshmallows. Gertzen says the Luxe ice creams will be made in very small batches, since the ingredients are limited; only three gallons of Space Junk were created.
The new Frozen Matter doesn't have a liquor license yet, but it does have a basement that Kim and Gertzen plan to utilize at some point down the road. It won't be another Retrograde, though; Wash Park will just have to wait and see what the next surprise will be.
Frozen Matter is now open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m, including this Wednesday, July 4. Visit the shop's website or call 720-546-6871 for details.