It’s our ten-year shop anniversary!

I’ve been making a little list in my head of all my proudest moments in the past ten years. The first thing that comes to mind is, of course, when my dad visited the U.S. for the first time in thirty years and he was actually excited to wait in line for our ice cream (even though we told him he could cut the line! Typical dad behavior.) Then there was the day I finally got the corn ice cream recipe right. The first time I made a perfect soft serve cone. And I can’t forget visiting the farm where we source our dairy, and meeting the people working hard to supply us.


Now it’s time to thank everyone who has supported us through the years; we definitely couldn’t do it without you. So come celebrate our ten-year anniversary all weekend! Here’s some of the fun stuff we’re doing:

Friday through Sunday, we’ll be running the drunken sailor sundae as a special, and $1 from each sundae sold will go to the APS of Durham.

Sunday from 12-3 pm we’ll have free face painting and balloon twisting, and from 3-4 we’ll have a prize wheel set up at the counter (with a chance to win free ice cream and merch!)

Monday will be our first Monday back open in…forever, and we’ll be serving FREE SINGLE SCOOPS ALL DAY!* Or until we run out of ice cream. This might be a crazy idea, but we just wanted to show how much we love and appreciate y’all. See you soon!

*Free singles in cups or cake/sugar cones, with rainbow sprinkles if desired. Be cool, man!



Spring 2021 at The Parlour

As more COVID-related restrictions are being lifted and many businesses are reopening, we want to provide an update on what’s changed with us and how we hope to move forward.

How it works now

For most of 2020, we only took orders online via Square. We kept the doors locked so you could order on the web and call upon arriving for pickup. This past February, we hired some Scoopers and set up an order/payment station in our doorway. The warm weather means we’re too busy to take both online and in-person order, so you need to order in person at the door. Additionally, we still are not providing indoor seating, ordering, or restroom use.

The ordering process (it’s easy!)

  • Put on your mask and come to the main door at 117 Market St.
  • Check out the menu board and place your order at the ordering table
  • Pay with a credit card (including Apple Pay and other contactless methods)
  • Give us your name
  • Move down to the second door (just north of the main one) and wait for us to call your name!

Some stuff that’s different

First, you may notice some changes in service.

  • We’re not offering samples right now
  • If you ask for a scoop on a cone, we still serve it in a cup with a cone on top. We’ll try to scoop in a way that makes it easier for you to turn it over and actually eat from the cone, but we can’t necessarily promise it’ll work!
  • We are trying not to use cash! If you don’t have a credit card or contactless payment, we may not be able to ring you up without exact change.

We’ve all learned that brief hand contact is not a big risk for COVID-19 transmission, so you may be wondering if the above changes are necessary. They’re actually mostly a matter of efficiency. Our physical layout puts the Scoopers and cash drawer far from the customers. Since we only have 2–4 people working at a time, we have to reduce the walking where we can! We’ll think about ways to improve this, but you may have to wait until we’re fully reopened before requesting samples, getting cones without bowls, and paying in cash.

We’ve also simplified our menu:

  • We only have 2 scoop sizes: Single and Double (currently approximately 4 oz and 8 oz)
  • We’re only selling pre-packed pints
  • We now make shakes from soft serve with select add-ins, so we have different flavor lists for shakes vs scoops

Some of these menu changes will likely become permanent, even as we increase our staffing and hours and get to full reopening (we are considering bringing back a Triple scoop option fairly soon).

The future

Short term

We’re still trying to keep our front of house staff small enough to avoid crowding, but we plan to bring on a few more folks soon. As we staff up in the next few weeks, we’ll start to stay open a little later and add a sixth day of service (and hopefully keep our lines moving even faster). As hours change, we’ll make announcements on social media and update the details on all the apps and maps.

We don’t know when we’ll have indoor service

COVID-19 vaccines are becoming widely available, and we know people are eager to gather inside their favorite foodservice establishments again! We look forward to inviting y’all back in, but we are not yet ready to announce a date. We can say that we probably won’t have indoor service any sooner than all official indoor mask rules and capacity restrictions are lifted. Again, this relates more to our shop layout than to the specifics of COVID-19 precautions. If we let customers in, we’d need at least one staffer dedicated to keeping an eye on occupancy, distancing, and masking at all times. Maybe this will work as we staff up more, but we can’t guarantee it.

We also might not fully reopen immediately once restrictions are lifted. In most years, we’ve had 15–20 Scoopers by the spring, with up to 7 working at once. We currently have three. We’re working on getting a manager and a few more Scoopers, so we can expand hours and serve you quicker with our current setup. But the transition to a full reopening may require us to close down for a week or two in order to hire, train, and schedule a way bigger crew.

Thanks again

We really appreciate everyone’s patience with us as we’ve rethought and rearranged practically every aspect of our business. Y’all’s kind words and enthusiasm has really kept us going through these challenges, and we look forward to welcoming everyone inside again when we can!

Holiday Hours: 2020 Is Finally Ending edition

This winter we’re closing for the week of Christmas and the week of New Year’s. Our last day before this winter break was December 20th.

Our first day back will be Thursday, January 7th! Our hours will remain Thursday through Sunday 2:00–9:00pm, and we will be continuing to offer pickup-only service with online ordering.

If you need our ice cream in the meantime, you may be able to find stock at Bulldega or the Durham Coop Market. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

Special Hours: Thanksgiving week edition

So far, our fall/winter social distancing hours have been Thursdays through Sundays 2:00–9:00. We’ll be closed on Thanksgiving day, November 26th—which is a Thursday, of course. To make up for that, we’re adding two extra open days that week. We’ll be open on Tuesday and Wednesday November 24th and 25th.

If you want to pick up pints, you can just order them the same day via our Square pickup site. Since we’ve got so many special orders and pints to make, we won’t be selling hot drinks or ice cream by the scoop on Tuesday or Wednesday. 

You can also place a special order for an ice cream cake or pie, for pickup any day that we’re open. These require a minimum 4-day lead time, so if you want to get a special order item before Thanksgiving make sure you place your order by Saturday, November 21st!

Thanks for your business, and have a happy + safe holiday.

A bit of a fall update!

Well, we made it to fall (I think…we do live in NC so it could be 90 degrees next week. Ha.) We’ve got a few changes to update you about!

First on the list: our new fall hours. We’ll be open Thursday through Sunday from 2 to 9 pm for the foreseeable future; still takeout only, still best to preorder online. Lots of new seasonal flavors in our online shop too.

Second important bit of news: we’re trying out delivery! Starting today you’ll be able to order pints (and sodas) for delivery through our online shop. Since downtown streets are closed off on Friday and Saturday nights, delivery hours are a bit limited – 2 to 7.30 Thursdays and Sundays, and 2 to 4.30 Fridays and Saturdays.

And last: we’ve put our ice cream cake order form back on our website. You can order our own creations as well as custom cakes, and we’ve got a few fun seasonal items (pumpkin ice cream pie! s’mores cake!) And yes, there are vegan options as well!

Well, that’s about it for now…stay tuned for Halloween specials starting next week!



New Menu Items!

Hey everyone,

We’re going to try something new this week, so don’t be surprised if the online shop looks a bit different. We’re taking the half pints off the menu and switching to single and double scoops to go instead. This means you can get one or two scoops in a cup to go, with toppings! (Yep, we’ve got lids too, don’t you worry.) We’ll have a slightly smaller variety of pint flavors in favor of having more options for scooped-to-order ice cream. We’ll also have two varieties of vegan soft serve and some vegan toppings. And we’ll have three types of ice cream sandwiches: strawberry ice cream with white chocolate-funfetti cookies, vanilla ice cream with fudge and malted milk chocolate chip cookies, and milk chocolate ice cream with candied hazelnuts and chocolate-hazelnut cookies.

Keep in mind that there are still just two of us working in the shop, so please be patient with us while we try this experiment out! See you Wednesday!