Philly-born hand-rolled ice cream shop Sweet Charlie’s is rapidly expanding, with three locations already open, five franchise spots in the works, and, as of tonight, a Rittenhouse address with a liquor license. Available only at Sweet Charlie’s 1921 Walnut Street shop, alcohol-infused ice cream will be sold starting mid-June. In the meantime, the soft opening begins today at 5 p.m.
The brainchild of then-18-year-old Kyle Billig, Sweet Charlie’s was an immediate hit when it opened in Washington Square last year, with crowds lining up for the Thai-style, made-to-order ice cream (or a vegan alternative) hand-blended with mix-ins like Oreo cookies and pretzels. Outposts in Ocean City, New Jersey, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, opened over Memorial Day weekend and a franchise location in Haddonfield, New Jersey, is slated to open this week. Farther afield, franchise locations in Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia are expected to be up and running by the July Fourth holiday.
Back in Philly, Sweet Charlie’s in Rittenhouse will be open tonight and tomorrow (May 31 and June 1) from 5-10 p.m. and Friday (June 2) from noon-10 p.m. Starting this weekend, the regular hours — noon-11 p.m. daily — kick in. Come back a week or two later and a section of the shop designated “Sweet Charlie’s After Dark” will be serving alcoholic versions of the ice cream shop’s most popular flavors. The (lightly) boozy treat will only be available Thursdays to Sundays, from 6-11 p.m., until Labor Day. You’d have to eat an awful lot of ice cream to get a buzz, but it’s still limited to those 21 and up (which means you’ll have to tell Billig how it tastes).
Here’s a peek at a few of the After Dark flavors:
Namaste: Strawberry cheesecake with chocolate liqueur
Wonder Filled: Oreos with white chocolate liqueur
Off Duty: Coffee ice cream and glazed donut drizzled with Kahlua or Baileys Irish Cream
Those flavors are also available in their regular, non-boozy versions, along with the rest of the menu items offered at all Sweet Charlie’s spots, including the Tall Charlie: a 6-inch-long ice cream roll on a long doughnut, like a hot dog.