CH Patisserie owner to open downtown ice cream shop

By Jodi Schwan

Famed pastry chef Chris Hanmer is getting into the ice cream business.

Hanmer, the owner of CH Patisserie in downtown Sioux Falls and former “Top Chef: Just Desserts” winner, plans to open Parlour Ice Cream House at Washington Square.

“It all just lined up for us,” Hanmer said. He said he had always planned on expanding to offer ice cream, and “it was literally the perfect location. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

He plans to bring his European-inspired approach to Parlour, elevating traditional ice cream to explore all realms of the dessert.

Chris Hanmer

“Not just American, but gelatos and sorbets, the whole vision,” he said. “Ice creams can change from the percentage of ingredients from more refreshing to more rich, and I don’t think that level of technology is explored by many people who have ice cream shops.”

He also plans to offer espresso drinks “because that sets the tone for who we are” and to include some different forms of affogato, which is ice cream topped with a shot of espresso.

“We really want to keep ice cream the star,” Hanmer said. “We’re not really going to have toppings, but we will have some fine accents and enhancements to take your ice cream to the next level. Maybe we have a sea salt, vanilla bean, caramel sauce as an add-on, but that’s as far as we want to go.”

The shop is designed to hold 18 flavors, but Hanmer said he already has ideas for more than 50 he wants to try.

“It’s the most free and liberating I’ve felt as a professional pastry chef to have no restrictions,” he said. “We’re going to be the premier ice cream shop I can make, not just good for Sioux Falls but good for anywhere in the world. That’s what I’m striving for and what my team is striving for, and we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.”

Parlour Ice Cream will take 1,200 square feet on the first floor of Washington Square and also have patio seating. The mixed-use building is under construction at 12th Street and Main Avenue, across from the Washington Pavilion.

“(Hanmer), with his reputation locally and internationally, is the type of tenant that really complements the brand of the building,” Washington Square co-owner Chris Houwman said. “Their brand is so important to them, just like our brand of the building is so important to us.”

Washington Square plans to open for residents in November.

The first residents are scheduled to move into Washington Square in November. Parlour Ice Cream House will open next spring.

More than 70 percent of the space reserved for condominiums has been sold, Houwman said. Ninety percent of the office space is leased, with only 3,300 square feet remaining.

There is still space on the first floor intended for a restaurant, which should complement Hanmer’s dessert concept, as well as one other small space. Houwman would like to see an eatery in that space, too.

“I think there’s really going to be interest,” Hanmer said. “This is a destination. It will anchor Main Avenue in a way that hasn’t been done since the Pavilion. It’s exciting.”

CH Patisserie owner to open downtown ice cream shop

Famed pastry chef Chris Hanmer is getting into the ice cream business.

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