Alexandria, VA

Frozen custard truck Goodies could be opening as a bricks-and-mortar frozen custard stand at the iconic ice house at the corner of Payne Street and Commerce Street in Old Town.

First, however, the D.C.-based custard business needs to clear the hurdle of obtaining a Special Use Permit.

Goodies owner Brandon Byrd described the decision to open his classic Wisconsin-style frozen custard shop in the brick structure built in 1931 as a perfect marriage. The building was an ice house built to keep milk and produce cold before freezers and mechanical ice-makers made such buildings redundant.

Byrd’s roving Goodies truck features a selection of classic sundaes, milkshakes and root beer floats — a formula expected to be largely duplicated at the new Alexandria location.

“It really made a lot of sense to use that particular space,” Byrd said. “It [is] a throwback to yesteryear. It’s a classic American experience, like going to the soda fountain and having a milkshake, but you don’t see that anymore. It’s a thing of the past. There’s a lot of similarities there, a lot of crossover appeal, in a cool little space.

Plans show the building as being an exclusively outdoor establishment. As with ice cream shops of old, the designs show customers would come up to the store window and order, with seating of up to twenty in the triangular lot in front of the building. Byrd noted that the space inside the building is small, so he mainly intends that to be where the food is prepared. The menu will primarily be the same cold desserts served by the truck, but Byrd said he plans to mix it up with seasonal items.

The building has fallen into disuse for years but Byrd said it was love at first sight when he saw it.

“I can put my hands on it,” Byrd said. “I can touch it and feel it. It’s not a strip mall, where you’re limited to what you can do to make it your own. To be able to be hands-on with this… I’m just extremely excited. I want it to be in a community that resonated with nostalgia. That’s Alexandria.”

If all goes well with the permitting, Byrd said he hopes to open sometime in spring 2020.

Goodies will, of course, have some competition in Alexandria. Long-time Del Ray dessert spot Dairy Godmother is also noted for its Wisconsin-style frozen custard.

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