MONTROSE—(May 1) The days are getting warmer, and Downtown Montrose just got a little bit cooler! Gelato (22 flavors!) arrives this month at Adam and Yesenia Duncan’s A+Y Gallery ( 513 East Main St.), with the first cup to be auctioned off at 11 a.m. on May 18, in support of the Valley Food Partnership’s school gardens program. And by month’s end, expect the debut of the Main Street Ice Cream Bar in the space formerly occupied by Big head BBQ (345 East Main)—complete with an antique soda fountain.
“The time is right,” said owner Kellie Hartman, who also owns and operates the great Harvest Bread Company at 347 East Main with husband Kevin. “I have memories of my grandparents taking me to a soda fountain—we don’t have that here anymore! So it feels like a dream come true to find this one.”
Hartman got the fountain itself from the former owner of Comet Drug in Delta, who had reportedly purchased it complete from Bill Heddles himself when the Rexall Drug closed years ago.
“We’re getting everything—the bar stools, the mirror, the coke stickers,” she said. “We’ll be doing phosphate sodas and traditional fountain drinks—and we hope to be open by the end of May.”
A few blocks over at A+Y Gallery, Yesenia Duncan believes that adding gelato to the Main Street mix will encourage people to come Downtown when it’s time for a treat.
“We’re just hoping to increase foot traffic Downtown, and ice cream always does that,” Duncan said. “And gelato is an elegant option for the gallery.”
The Duncans are remodeling the back portion of the gallery to accommodate the ice cream bar, and have hired three part-time staffers. Adam is creating several bistro tables, with dry erase tops for families with kids, Yesenia said.
“Not all of our friends and family can shop in the gallery, but gelato is something everyone can afford,” she said. “It adds to the experience, and makes the area more of a destination.”
Gelato will be made by Gelato Junction of Grand Junction, from locally sourced ingredients, she added.
“Lavender is a pretty awesome flavor, and we will have others—things like coconut, lemon-basil, mascarpone, pistachio. There is even chocolate-cayenne, and one called Donatella, with hazelnut and chocolate.”
Gelato will be gluten-free, but packed with fun—and Duncan said she is not worried about crowds of happy children coming to the Gallery.
“We’ll just hang the art a little higher so sticky fingers can’t touch it,” she said.