Mickey’s Ice Cream Kitchen and Space will be serving up hand-crafted gourmet ice cream in the heart of St. James this spring.
The ice cream is all going to be made locally, and in small batches.
The locally sourced aspect — and his choice on where to open — was important to owner Brendan Fleming, who says his family’s history in St. James goes back nearly 70 years.
His grandparents, Mickey (Thomas) and Kathleen Fleming moved from New York City to what was then the small farm town of St. James in 1952.
Over time, their family grew, and so did their love for the quiet hamlet.
Mickey retired from the NYPD in 1965 and in 1988, he and Kathy were chosen to be the grand marshals of that year’s St. James’ Saint Patrick’s Day parade.
Mickey and Kathy passed in the early 2000s, leaving behind six children, 27 grandchildren, and spouses, 22 great-grandchildren, and a significant legacy in the town.
Their legacy will continue with Mickey’s Ice Cream Kitchen and Space, which purely coincidentally spells out the acronym, MICKS.
Fleming spent 20 years in the retail sector, but wanted to go out on his own.
After noticing the popularity at gourmet ice cream spots across Long Island and Upstate, he felt this was the perfect concept to bring to St. James.
“I just felt like it was a niche that the area didn’t have,” Fleming said. “I just wanted something that families could come for an experience, like going to the movies — whether you’re happy or sad, it can fill that void.”
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Inspired by hot spots such as Cloud Nine Ice Cream and Cereal Bar in Patchogue and the Bellvale Farms Creamery in the Hudson Valley area, Mickey’s at 370 Lake Ave. will serve small-batch, house-made premium ice cream in nearly 30 flavors.
Seasonal flavors and dairy-free, vegan options will also be on the menu, Fleming said. “There will be the typical ice cream flavors that you would see with a gourmet twist,” he added. “We’re going to be offering an opportunity for customers to create their own flavor contest.”
Fleming also wants to use Mickey’s to host kids’ birthday parties and other small gatherings.
The space was previously a café owned by a local family.
With work now underway, Fleming said they are hoping to open the ice cream spot overlooking St. James Village Park before Memorial Day weekend, or early June.
Once it’s open, Mickey’s will operate all year long.
As a 17-year St. James resident, Fleming says he’s witnessed St. James go through a revitalization period, and he hopes to contribute to it with Mickey’s.
“We really wanted it to be a community meeting place where we would have the patio on the side, we’ll have the picnic tables and lights,” Fleming said. “We really wanted something that would be a focal point of the area — it’s just exciting to see it come to fruition.”
Top: The exterior of Mickey’s Ice Cream Kitchen and Space. All photos courtesy of Mickey’s Ice Cream Kitchen’s Facebook and Instagram pages.