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We Wanna Be Friends With: Juliet Pries of The Ice Cream Bar

Photo Credit: Chris Conroy

Our city is chock-full of interesting people and wild personalities. Overwhelmed by the coolness? Every week we'll pick one standout local we'd love to be friends with to answer seven essential questions about their life in San Francisco.

Although we normally go by the rule of thumb, "Never trust a skinny chef," we bet that anyone who's taken a bite of the mega adorable Juliet Pries' ice cream sandwich would entrust her with their firstborn. Her made-daily-from-scratch ice cream, soda fountain fare, and even hot dog buns (!) are seriously out of this world, as is the interior of her shop, The Ice Cream Bar. It's retro, but not kitschy, and the 1930s-themed soda fountain was delivered to SF from its original home in Mackinaw City, Michigan, making a stunning central feature. 

As if we needed more to look forward to when making the trek to Cole Valley, Juliet has some exciting new plans. In the fall she will introduce mid-week events, like a "Remedies" (boozy fountain drinks) Happy Hour, date night specials that are made for two to share, and an upcoming line of soda syrups. This woman is pure sweet-genius. 

1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?

I've lived in the Castro for twelve years, and love it because it's so sunny and beautiful. I'm very fortunate to live here, and work in Cole Valley, which must be the friendliest neighborhood in the city.

2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?

That's a difficult question! One of the best things about San Francisco is that you might find a new "hands-down, absolute favorite" every day. Great food options are endless! If I had to choose a constant favorite, it would be fresh crab, and just about any menu item that includes it.

3. What's your perfect night on the town?

I love going to a new restaurant for an indulgent, three-hour dinner, trying as many new things as possible, including great cocktails and two or three desserts. When I don't have time to plan ahead, a last-minute, late-night dinner at Nopa is always good.

4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time?

You could say that I live at The Ice Cream Bar these days, so I like to spend any down time at home. I'd attempt to do some reading, but would inevitably end up napping on the sunny balcony with my two cats, Oscar and Sassy. If it's not sunny, I'm online, or all over town searching for vintage treasures.

5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?

Tahoe, definitely. I love to go in the spring, on the road by 6 am, a full day on the mountain, and back in SF just as it's getting dark.

6. Quick-fire round:

Burrito or Burger?

Burrito.

Presidio or Golden Gate Park?

Golden Gate Park.

Bi-Rite or Mitchell's?

Hmm... [Editor's note: Sorry!] 

Bike or MUNI?

I'll have to say neither because I'm constantly transporting heavy stuff for the business.

Fort Mason or Dolores Park?

Dolores Park.

The Independent or the Fillmore?

The Fillmore (thanks Tom!).

Baker Beach or Ocean Beach?

Ocean Beach.

7. Three words that describe your life in SF?

Unpredictable, busy, fortunate. 

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