A new sweets spot touted as Chicago’s first vegan and gluten-free dessert bar is coming this month to Gold Coast with boozy milkshakes and mini-doughnuts. Scoops Shop & Dessert Bar is slated to open Wednesday, September 1 at 838 N. State Street. The space previously housed European-style gelato shop Cafe Crèmerie, which is in the midst of relocating to River North.
Scoops will serve coconut milk ice cream from Texas-based NadaMoo in flavors like birthday cake, mint chocolate chip, cookie dough fudge, and more. Staff will also use it for ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, and milkshakes — a nod to owner Brittany Gumbiner’s late grandmother, a passionate baker who loved chocolate milkshakes. Grown-up patrons can doctor up their shakes with an alcoholic upgrade.
The shop will also pour its own blend of coffee from local roastery Passion House, and introduce seasonal items in the winter like peppermint lattes and apple cinnamon doughnuts. The 1,000 square-foot space seats around 30 and is equipped with two selfie-friendly “Instagram walls” featuring neon wall art. There’s room for another 55 on a sidewalk patio.
Gumbiner, a sweet-toothed vegan who is also gluten-free, says she’s struggled to find spots with a range of dessert options for patrons like her. She hopes to create a space where customers don’t have to worry about cross-contamination or surprise ingredients: Scoops will make gluten-free cones and baked goods its own commercial kitchen.
Chicago has seen a surge in vegan ice cream offerings around the city this year. Vaca’s Creamery, a cozy spot for dairy-free soft serve and allergen-free cones from a pair of ex-Sweet Ritual employees, debuted in May in Pulaski Park. Animal-free diner staple Kal’ish also offers vegan ice cream and sundaes in Uptown. Demand has even grown to the point that Wrigley Field is now serving oat-milk based soft serve from industry giant Oatly.
Despite the spike in local interest, Gumbiner still wants to make sure omnivores also have a good time at Scoops: “It’s not just for those who are gluten-free or have vegan or have allergies,” she says. “Every single person who walks in will enjoy what they order.”
Scoops Shop & Dessert Bar, 838 N. State Street, Slated to open Wednesday, September 1.
- Chicago’s First Gluten-Free Vegan Dessert Bar to Open This Spring [Veg Out]