The Berley brothers are expanding their dessert domination with Franklin Ice Cream Bar, an Old City shop with a vintage vibe like sister spots Franklin Fountain and Shane Confectionery, which share the block. True to its name, Franklin Ice Cream Bar (112 Market Street) will sell ice cream bars, of the hand-dipped, made-to-order variety.
With its 1930s-40s art deco décor, Franklin Ice Cream Bar is the most contemporary of Eric and Ryan Berley’s neighboring sweet shops. The always-packed Franklin Fountain, in business since 2004, goes for an early 1900s ice cream parlor look with plenty of authentic antique touches. For Shane, the brothers revived an 1863 confectionery. Their new venture will incorporate items from the other two, serving scoops of the hard ice cream Franklin Fountain is known for, plus milkshakes and vanilla and chocolate custard. Look for seasonal custard flavors like pumpkin and peppermint stick. Freezers in the front of the store will hold ice cream pints, quarts, and half gallons.
As for the ice cream bars, they’re molded in the shape of a keystone — the symbol of Pennsylvania — and called, simply enough, Keystone Bars. Customers choose vanilla or chocolate ice cream as the base, milk or dark chocolate from Shane Confectionery for the covering, and a rotating array of toppings along the lines of crushed peanut butter sticks, cacao nibs, freeze-dried fruit, and bee pollen. Vegan vanilla ice cream is available for the bars, and the dark chocolate dip is vegan. Pre-made bars in flavor combos not offered on the menu will be available in the freezer cases.
The Franklin Ice Cream Bar sign, made with Vitrolite glass (an opaque art deco staple), is up but both the façade and interior still need some work. After a few delays, the shop is now hoping for an early fall opening.