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Inside Logan Square’s Enchanting New Ice Cream Shop, Opening Tomorrow

Pretty Cool Ice Cream makes whimsical and gourmet treats

Pretty Cool Ice Cream debuts on Friday.
Barry Brecheisen

A whimsical and playful ice cream shop that should draw children and adults from across Chicago opens on Friday in Logan Square. Pretty Cool Ice Cream isn’t a scoop shop, instead co-owner Dana Salls Cree wants to hook patrons on a selection of 50 ice cream novelties including nostalgic items that could be found on an ice cream truck. Unlike Good Humor, these treats are powered by the genius of Salls Cree, the decorated former One Off Hospitality Group pastry chef and ice cream cookbook author.

Pretty Cool — which is a collaboration between Salls Cree and Bang Bang Pie’s Michael Ciapciak — will sell a variety of bars skewered by custom Pretty Cool Ice Cream wooden popsicle sticks. Customers will find custard bars submerged in chocolate in varieties including vanilla, almond, caramel potato chip, and cookies & cream. Ice cream trucks inspired the “truck pops” with flavors like sour cherry, firecracker and the Arnold Palmer. Buttermilk bars bring fruit sherbet in the mix. Vegans are also invited to the party with pops made with plant-based milk. These non-dairy bars include matcha mint, cold-press coffee, and almond chai.

Pretty Cool also has “party pops” which are inspired by Magic Shell, the liquid topping that hardens after a short wait. These cream cheese bars are dipped into Pretty Cool’s proprietary shell blend that includes sprinkles; it’s a party, after all. Ice cream sandwiches and more items will be added, according to the Tribune. There’s also pops for dogs. They’re obviously called Pupsicles.

There’s a stadium-style tiered seating and a sign that changes colors designed by Tumu. The public area is about 800 square feet and there’s a plenty of spaces to watch Salls Cree and her staff make their magic. Navillus Woodworks did the milling on the project

The shop is the start of something bigger as Salls Cree said she’s starting a novelty company. When they get the proper licensing, she’ll collaborate with Quiote, the Mexican restaurant down the street and make paletas. Her husband, Dan Salls, owns the restaurant.

Walk through the space below. Pretty Cool Ice Cream opens at 11 a.m. Friday.

Pretty Cool Ice Cream, 2353 N. California Avenue, open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

It’s tough to miss this storefront on California and Fullerton.
Stand by the window to see workers make magic.
Behold the ice cream counter.
A handy table.
Stadium seating is popular at ice cream shops.
The “Pretty Cool” sign is blue.
What alchemy! The sign is now yellow.
The main seating area.
The sign board includes references to Dana Salls Cree’s recent marriage and her friendship with Elske co-owner Anna Posey.
The bathroom doors.
Where the heroes work.
Poetry in motion.
A closer look at the menu.
This is what matters.
Pretty cool, indeed.

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