Let’s face it, even though we still get excited about the restaurant scene in San Francisco, we haven’t been hitting too many opening nights since the kiddos made their debut.

Not to worry, your scruffy stroller and diaper bag won’t cramp your style when you and the family vie for a table at Cole Valley’s newest foodie hangout, The Ice Cream Bar.

The brainchild of Juliet Pries (once a partner at nearby Kezar Pub), the old fashioned ice cream parlor and soda fountain shop – with a modern twist – officially opened its doors this past weekend to tons of ice-creaming loving kids and their soda-fountain enthusiast moms and dads.

Step into The Ice Cream Bar and your family is immediately transported back to a different era (in fact, your kids will be enchanted with everything from the sweet tunes in the shop to the fun counter stools and shiny countertops).

To make sure the vintage shop stayed well, vintage, Pries consulted with expert barman Russell Davis of downtown’s Rickhouse to ensure that all the soda fountain drinks were tasty and of course, authentic. So instead of making their signature milk shakes with ice cream (after all, it doesn’t take a genius to make that), The Ice Cream Bar’s shakes are made with milk, cream, eggs, and flavoring just like milk shakes were made in the early 20th century.

Other fan favorites include what the menu describes as Phosphates (flavored soda with acide phosphates), Crushes (fresh fruit based sodas) and home-made root beer made with real sassafras. And of course, you really can’t go wrong with an ice cream sandwich or a scoop (or two, or three!) of their ice cream flavors with anything from hot fudge to marshmallow fluff to toasted almonds on top. Pssst: is your mouth watering yet?

And for you parents who maybe want to feed your kids some real food before unleashing their ice cream sugar high on the unsuspecting world, then rest assured that The Ice Cream Bar will soon be rolling out a menu complete with kid favorites such hot dogs and grilled cheese. The newest addition to Cole Valley is also hoping to secure their liquor license soon (we can hear you cheering, moms and dads) so while the kiddos nosh on their desert, you can have a little desert of your own. So stay tuned Bay Area parents because visiting this ice cream parlor is the best step back into time you’ve ever taken.

Menu Highlights include the Too Good To Be True Milkshake (Old fashioned malted butterscotch milkshake with Juliet’s rye-based butterscotch syrup, egg, milk, malted cream, blackstrap molasses, $8), Classic Wild Cherry Phosphate ($7), Hot Fudge Sundae ($7.50) and Russell’s Sassafras Root Beer ($6),

Fountain syrups range from molasses to honey pineapple and cherry. House-made extracts range from allspice to tangerine to nutmeg and rosemary.

The Ice Cream Bar
815 Cole Street
San Francisco, Ca
Online: facebook.com/pages/The-Ice-Cream-Bar-Soda-Fountain-and-Creamery

What to do nearby:

Navigating the California Academy of Sciences with Kids
Insider’s Guide to the DeYoung with Kids
The Best of Golden Gate Park

What’s been your experience at The Ice Cream Bar? What does your family order? 

— Erin Lem

photos courtesy of Paul Dyer via Eater