Macon’s newest ice cream shop opened at 4 p.m. on Monday, and in less than an hour, there was a line of more than 25 people going out the door to the sidewalk.
Ice Queen opened at 121 Tom Hill Sr. Blvd. in north Macon. It’s in the Rivergate Food Court, which also has Starbucks, Subway and Baskin-Robbins.
The shop makes a new trend in ice cream: Thai rolled ice cream. The frozen treat is made to order in front of the customer. A milky liquid is poured on a metal circle that looks somewhat like a metal pizza pan that freezes the liquid. Whatever the customer wants in the ice cream, such as crushed Oreos or fruit, is added. Then the ingredients are loudly chopped and mixed with a spatula, which also is used to thinly smooth out the ice cream. Using the spatula, the ice cream is rolled up into tubes about the size of a roll of coins, and each roll is put into a cup and topped with extras such as gummy bears, a toasted marshmallow or chocolate syrup.
Christen Green of Macon said she had heard of rolled ice cream but never had it before. She got to the shop at 4:10 p.m., and it was an hour before she sat down to eat it, she said.
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“It was worth the wait,” she said.
She and her daughter, Gracie, 5, were enjoying Black Humor ice cream, which has brownies, Oreos and chocolate syrup in it. Gracie’s great-grandmother, Barbara Green, was eating something called Fruit Passion ice cream, which has strawberries, blueberries and pineapple in it.
“It was fun to watch them make it,” Christen Green said, adding that she would “definitely” go back to Ice Queen.
“It’s uniquely different,” Barbara Green said.
An employee said store owner Peggy Bong was too busy to comment.
The shop is open 4-10 p.m. Monday and noon-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, according to a sign out front.
Unfortunately, about 5:30 p.m. on Monday, the machines malfunctioned and were freezing the ice cream too hard, and it wouldn’t roll. So some people were given their money back, and others were turned away at the door. But within about 10 to 15 minutes, the machines began working again.
Rolled ice cream began showing up in the U.S. in 2015, according to Paste Monthly in a 2016 article. “This mounting trend started tiptoeing into the States last year by way of Southeast Asia — not just Thailand,, but also Malaysia, Cambodia and the Philippines, where the treat is often sold by street vendors,” it said.