Step back into the ’80s with bright neon colors and bold patterns with the opening of DANG Soft Serve Ice Cream on September 20. The newest installation of the Little Man Ice Cream family resides within Oneida Park Center in the Park Hill neighborhood and will join ranks as the fourth location to open within the past 12 months. Little Man Ice Cream – which started in 2008 — has boomed this past year with its sister locations including Sweet Cooie’s in Congress Park, Old Town Churn Ice in Fort Collins, The Constellation Ice Cream in Stapleton and the Little Man Ice Cream Factory in Denver’s Sloan’s Lake neighborhood. (A Little Man outpost in DIA is still yet to come.)
The idea for this new concept came when the Little Man team and owner Paul Tamburello decided they needed to add to their current offerings. When Melissa Pulsinelli – one of the staff members of Little Man — brought up the genius idea to add french fries alongside the ice cream for the perfect sweet and salty combo, the team took the idea and ran with it.
The 1,500 square-foot space was designed by Melissa Friday and Dana Ensing of Xan Creative. “The name uniquely informed the design of this project. Once we landed on ‘DANG’ we knew we had to bring high energy to this design. In collaboration with graphic designer Ben Geise, we pulled inspiration from the electric patterns and colors of ’80s pop culture. Having a small box of a building to work with, we decided to treat it more as an object than an environment. This led to big plays with patterns on every surface,” explained Ensing.
The building does not disappoint with flashy blue, purple and pink swathes of color and mesmerizing patterns that suck you into grabbing a swirled cone topped with brightly colored sprinkles of its own. You can even grab a seat in a funky hand chair and nosh on your sweet treat or grab a seat outside in the courtyard to enjoy Oneida Park.
Claire Fields, the head chef and wizard behind Little Man’s best ice cream flavors curated a menu of eight delightful soft serves that can be served single or swirled together for perfection. These flavors include Iced Matcha, Lilikoi, Caramel Corn and Mexican Chocolate, Black Raspberry and ‘Nilla Eclipse. Two of the flavors – Orange Dreamsicle and Chocolate Ganache are vegan, for those who cannot partake in the dairy goodness.
The menu is also home to sundaes, DANG Fries for $5 with a DANG Dip sauce and The Bomb Cyclone (named after that terrible storm that hit last year). The Bomb Cyclone is a DANG specialty that gives you a chance to choose a flavor of ice cream and mix in a myriad of whatever toppings your heart desires – and you have 30 to choose from so the choices are almost endless.
This Friday evening you can get in on the action at the grand opening with an ’80s themed silent disco party. The grand opening will begin at 7 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the shop. You can then rock out till 11 p.m. with a Sound Down DJ that will be blaring out ’80s hits on silent disco headphones. The best part of the evening? If you show up wearing ’80s gear and style yourself in ’80s fashion, you can be entered in to have a chance to win tickets to visit the brand new Mission Ballroom.
Like all of the other Little Man locations, DANG Soft Serve participates in the Scoop for Scoop program and will give back to causes that are important relevant to the neighborhood. DANG will donate a percentage of each sale to support young artists and musicians in the Park Hill neighborhood.
“We are so excited to be a part of Todd Snyder and Rick Firmine’s reinvention of Oneida Park. Their vision and partnership, alongside our amazing tenant partners, promises to be a special community gathering place in Park Hill,” stated Tamburello.
DANG Soft Serve Ice Cream is located at 2211 Oneida St., Denver and is open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
All photography by Amanda Piela.