Frozen in time: ice cream shop disguises speakeasy

Photo// Ashley Bauler


city can never have too many ice cream shops—or bars. Ice cream is at the heart of social happenings from first dates to birthdays to hot summer nights, but never before has the city of  Denver seen a place like Frozen Matter. Located in Uptown at the corner of 19th and Pennsylvania is an ice cream shop much like all the others, but its secret boozy twist makes it the perfect stop on a Saturday night.

Fit with colorful and wholesome smells, the shop-goer is immediately greeted with a modern aesthetic. It is rustic and chic, mirroring the new modern sweep of store atmospheres in Denver. The ice cream is beautifully handcrafted and looks like it should be showcased on “Favorite Things to Eat” Pinterest boards. The flavors are unique and savory. Shop favorites include Apple + Brie, Pomegranate, and Milk + Cookies. The staff is extremely accommodating with regards to food allergies and other dietary restrictions. There are vegan choices of ice cream, in addition to non-vegan flavors.

As the night wears on, and after the ice cream has been consumed, it’s time to experience the other side of Frozen Matter. A person in line is meant to ask the ice cream scooper, “Do you have boozy milkshakes here?” or “I turned 21 recently, is there any type of ice cream you’d suggest for that?” It’s at this point that the ice cream shop-goer is now entering the world of the forsaken speakeasy that is Frozen Matter.

The speakeasy concept arose out of the historical time period of the prohibition. Store fronts would run their businesses as usual, but back rooms or basements would hide secret gathering places that served alcohol—essentially black market bars. The return of the speakeasy is a fun way to experience the mystery around the prohibition in a modern way.

Upon entering, the boom and glow of the bar is astonishing. The place is regularly packed. The atmosphere feels as if everyone has been transported into the speakeasy in the most recent Great Gatsby film, as vintage liquor bottles gleam in the speakeasy’s green lights. It’s a cool place—literally, since customers enter by walking through a freezer—and although expensive, it’s well worth it. Pregaming doesn’t get better than cocktails and ice cream.

Although composed of an Uptown hipster crowd, the atmosphere is welcoming and lighthearted. The music is upbeat but not so loud to prevent happy conversation. 

Nothing about the experience is likely to disappoint, and the 21-and-over crowd of Denver must swing by if they’re willing to keep the secret. The concept of a speakeasy isn’t necessarily new to Denver, as many others exist within the city, but Frozen Matter is set apart. The artisanship and atmosphere created is like nothing else to be found, which adds to the retro aura of it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *