Boba tea and Thai-style rolled ice cream shop STEEP Creamery and Tea closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, owner Alvin Yu has applied for permits to reopen his ice cream and tea shop at 270 Brannan Street under a slightly different concept.
When STEEP Creamery reopens, Yu will ditch the rolled ice cream method in favor of homemade small-batch ice cream, which will be hand-scooped and served to customers in a more traditional fashion. Boba tea, Yu says, will remain on the menu.
Before the pandemic, STEEP served as a gathering place for coworkers, baseball fans, tourists, and South Beach residents to drink tea, eat ice cream, and socialize. Now, Yu says the restaurant will be a takeout only operation, with no dine-in services aside from a bench or two outside of the shop.
“We want to do what’s safe for our employees and customers, at least for the next year,” says Yu, who had to lay off most of his employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We might bring back indoor seating next year, but for now, we want to keep the space flowing.”
To reopen, Yu has partnered with Juma Ventures, an organization that aims to break San Francisco’s cycle of poverty by paving the way for people transitioning from adolescence to adulthood to find good employment. Yu will work with Juma to staff STEEP Creamery.
“We’re super excited about the collaboration,” says Yu. “We love Juma’s mission, and we want to reopen while helping the people who’ve been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Yu hopes to be open sometime in July — the perfect time of year to grab an ice cream cone on your way to a Giants game, if you ask us.