Bernstein says he expects to start serving up coffee, espresso, ice cream and Las Paletas treats in the next week or two. "We were hoping to open around the time of the first snowflake, when people are really in the mood for ice cream," he jokes. While November isn't typically the season for chilly desserts, I suspect Hot & Cold will be a hit with holiday shoppers in the Village.
Hot & Cold takes over the former Smoothie King spot next door to Fido on 21st Avenue South. The name refers to the menu that unites Bongo Java coffee and the much-loved paletas produced by Bernstein's wife, Irma Paz Bernstein, and her sister Norma. In case you don't know, paletas are often described as the Mexican version of Popsicles, and the sisters use fresh fruit and other gourmet ingredients like cucumber, avocado and Mexican caramel to craft their paletas.
Anybody peering in the window will see that the former smoothie chain outlet has been transformed.
Reclaimed barnwood clads the counter, reflecting Bernstein's interest in eco-friendly building materials. (His straw-bale home, built with the help of friends, neighbors and friendly strangers, is featured in this week's Scene.)
Hot & Cold will be managed by a Fido veteran, Jeff Gibbs. Like Fido, the new place will also be an informal gallery for local art. We're pretty intrigued by the whole thing, so if you get there before us, give us a report.