10 Below Ice Cream Opens on Allen Street Tomorrow

Richard Tam at the Allen St. location

Richard Tam at the Allen St. location

Rolled ice cream is coming to the Lower East Side. Known for its Thai-inspired rolled ice cream prepared on cold metal plates and mixed with a variety of different toppings, 10Below opens a new location tomorrow at 132 Allen St.

This new spot is much larger than 10Below’s Queens and Chinatown outposts, and features two additional ice cream machines that will double production. Work by local artists will adorn the walls and multiple seating areas will allow plenty of room for ice cream fanatics.  According to the shop’s owner, Richard Tam, setting up shop on the Lower East Side was a no-brainer. “We grew up in this area, we know this area of downtown,” Lam said, “and the Lower East Side is ideal for our customers.” Tam also views Allen Street as an up and coming locale and wants 10Below to be one of the next shops to participate in the emerging bustle of downtown.

The LES branch will serve as an experimental space where Tam and his team can create different flavors. “One of the flavors that we have slated is our old mango strawberry, ‘Mo Money Mo Mango’. We’re also bringing in a pistachio flavor and a potato chip and honey. But those are just a few things I’m working on,” he said. Tam plans to introduce two to three additional flavors by the end of the season.

When asked if they are anticipating another three-hour waiting line, as happened when 10Below opened on Mott Street in Chinatown, Tam said, “We never want to get our hopes up. We’re just trying to serve as many people as possible, have everyone leave the store with a smile, and make sure they got what they intended to come here for — great tasting, and great looking ice cream.”

For the grand opening, LES 10 Below will offer more than half off of their famous ice cream. Hours of operation are from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m..

CB3 Approves Essex Street Lighting Plan

There are 18 bishop's crook light fixtures on Essex Street.

Tuesday evening, Community Board 3 voted in favor of a proposal from the Lower East Side Business Improvement District to replace 28 street lights on Essex Street, between East Houston and Canal.  The plan now goes to the Public Design Commission for approval.

End of an Era – “Ruby the Fruit Man” Has Closed Shop

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The doors have been closed at Ruby’s fruit and vegetable stand at 400 Grand St. for over three weeks and the word on the street is that Ruby Baumgarten has finally retired.  There had been some community concern over his health, but local business owner James Iglesias says he has heard Ruby is doing fine, just decided to close shop as he is approaching 90 years of age.

James, whose dry-cleaning business has been across the street for almost thirty years, said, “I could always hear him yelling over there, talking to people. But then I realized he’s getting up there, him and his friends were just hard of hearing.”

Former New York Times food writer Mimi Sheraton wrote this about Ruby’s in 1997:

Multicultural is also the word for eating habits here. Ruby (the Fruitman) Baumgarten has catered to a primarily Jewish clientele for 50 years, always stocking greens and root vegetables for chicken soup. Now he also keeps fresh ginger root for new Chinese customers. Savvy shoppers are regularly and loudly berated for squeezing produce, but he takes pride in never stocking anything that is too expensive for his customers. ”If they’re not going to buy cherries, why should I buy cherries?” he asks rhetorically.

As reported by a local neighborhood website, Kicking Over the Traces, Ruby’s location at 400 Grand Street is “one of the few old buildings remaining in the Seward Park Extension Renewal Area –  and was the last building to enter the City’s Tenant Interim Lease Program (TIL). The program allowed residents in City-owned buildings to take ownership of their buildings as a cooperative. LES activist Chino Garcia added that one of the organizers who led the fight to save this building was former City Councilwoman and current NYCHA board member Margarita Lopez”.

You’ll be missed, Ruby.