Tucked beneath a modern residential building in LoHi resides There..., a restaurant that now serves fresh gelato under the name Bici. The idea, says co-owner Oren Cohen, is to provide an array of housemade "adult snack food": hummus, roasted nuts and dipping sauces, for example. It also includes a whole freezer counter stocked with Cohen's gelato creations.
"It's like bartending with milk and sugar," says Cohen, who has worked with cocktails for years. Cohen started making gelato when he was a kid, using a 1980s Ben & Jerry's cookbook as his guide. Over the years he perfected the art, and now serves about sixteen flavors at Bici. Those currently include mint Oreo, Lady Gray (made with tea from a locally owned company), chocolate fudge brownie and candied bacon with salted caramel. Several of the creations are made with milk that has been steeped with herbs and/or tea.
"I call them my home-brew versions [of gelato]," he says. "You want it tender and fresh; you don't want it sitting around for months."
And if you're looking to go beyond the basic cup of creamy delight, try a kombucha float made with Boulder's Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha and strawberry hibiscus gelato. In the near future, Cohen plans on also making boozy floats and pairing his creations with alcohol. Guests can order at the counter for gelato to go, sit at the community table (when its not being used by There... customers) or get a scoop for dessert while dining in the restaurant.
If the space looks familiar, it's because the concept isn't entirely new. The owners previously operated it as Wheelbench Market, a place for locals to pick up groceries and prepared meals to take home and reheat. After running that shop for a little over a year, owners Cohen, Andrew Tyler and Enrique Margulis decided that dinner would be the job of the restaurant, and the market space would focus on gelato. It's also becoming the new entryway for There..., where guests will soon find the hostess stand.
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While opening a gelato shop in December may seem a little crazy, the team behind this Telluride transplant doesn't see it that way, noting that it's just an extension of "focusing on producing everything in-house," according to Tyler. And, as it turns out, people want gelato no matter the weather.
There... is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday, 10 a.m to midnight on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.