Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar converts into an ice-cream parlour for the summer

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      When Lisa Gardin opened up Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar (1007 Main Street) last summer, she was already serving up homemade ice-cream sandwiches and floats.

      However tasty her frozen treats were, they were not given the same amount of attention and dedication as the confectionaries offered at her shop; Gardin’s artisan chocolates and truffles were the main draw.

      But the no-fuss sweets establishment has recently converted into an ice-cream parlour for the summer months, and has launched a full line of frozen desserts to quench the appetite of ice cream-lovers in Vancouver.

      “I think it’s a really perfect pairing. Chocolate in the winter, and ice cream in the summer,” Gardin, chocolatier and owner at Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar, told the Straight in an interview at her shop. “I think that handcrafted ice cream in Vancouver is trending.”

      One scoop is never enough.
      Tammy Kwan

      All of the frozen treats are made in house and created from natural ingredients. Gardin uses locally sourced dairy and frozen pasteurized eggs.

      “I use locally sourced fruit as soon as I can get it,” she added. “I’m excited to bring in Okanagan peaches and cherries.”  

      Guests can expect a two for $9 special every single day that Lisa Lou’s is open (Tuesday to Sunday). Some of the treats include Tart Tuesdays (a freshly baked tart with a scoop of ice cream); Waffle Wednesday (fresh waffle cone or bowl with a scoop); and Brownie Thursday (warm brownie served with a scoop and drizzled in hot fudge), among others.

      Floats, banana splits, sundaes, and ice-cream sandwiches are also on the menu. We don’t know about you, but these treats sound highly appealing and give us a nostalgic vibe.

      Banana splits are great for sharing.
      Lisa Lou's Chocolate Bar

      Lisa Lou’s ice-cream flavours will rotate, but there will be six staple flavours that will stay on the menu. Some of its top picks include strawberry rhubarb, malted chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, and coffee cream whiskey.

      Gardin recounts her days living in Dubai, and how that experience has influenced her to create a specific coffee-and-cardamom ice-cream flavour.

      “I spent half a year in Dubai and we drank Turkish coffee every single day,” explained the ice-cream connoisseur. “It was so delicious, and I really have become obsessed with that coffee and cardamom combination.”

      Gardin understands that there are plenty of ice-cream shops around town, but that doesn’t necessarily mean competition.

      “I want to do something that’s fun, affordable, a little bit unique to what else is happening in the city,” explained Gardin. “I want to do fresh baked waffles cones, and milkshakes, and caramelized banana splits, and I want to feel like customers are getting value when they come into my shop.”

      Guests can take home a pint, or go for a popsicle.
      Tammy Kwan

      So what does she hope to get out of offering ice cream to customers for the next few months?

      “I’m on the outskirts on the rough part of town, and I feel like a lot of people in the community can’t necessarily afford a lot of the high end, luxury foods,” said Gardin. “ I want to be respectable to the community that lives here, and I want them to be able to afford a scoop of ice cream. I always want there to be something for everybody.”

      We have a feeling that we will be frequenting her ice-cream parlour quite often—malted chocolate milkshake anyone?

      Everything on Lisa Lou's ice cream bar sounds enticing.
      Tammy Kwan


      Handcrafted ice cream in the shop's new ice-cream freezer.
      Tammy Kwan


      Some of the well-loved flavours.
      Tammy Kwan