Hallie Meyer, the daughter of New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, is prepping to open an Italian coffee and ice cream parlor in Gramercy this summer.
The new scoop shop will be called Caffè Panna, translating to “coffee” and “cream,” and will focus on just that. It’ll be a 25- to 30-seat space with a separate coffee bar and ice cream counter, serving Rome-inspired blends from Joe Coffee Co., daily affogato sundaes, and 10 flavors of ice cream. The ice cream itself is Hallie’s creation — she has her own ice cream brand called Tripla Panna — and the flavors will focus largely on fruits and nuts.
Five of the flavors will change on a daily basis, based on the fresh ingredients she finds at the nearby Union Square Greenmarket, she says. All the ice cream will be churned on site daily, a nod to the way gelato is made fresh in Rome. A preview of the cafe at the Hester Street Fair this month featured two affogato sundaes: one flavored with graham brittle and salted caramel and another with chocolate, pistachio, and sour cherry swirls.
Caffè Panna is slated to open later this summer at 77 Irving Place, on 19th Street. It’s a venture separate from her father’s Union Square Hospitality Group, she says, though her father is one of her advisors and it’s down the street from Union Square Cafe. Danny is not an investor in the ice cream parlor.
Previously, Hallie co-founded Umi Kitchen, a Danny-backed app that launched in 2016, delivering meals made by home cooks in NYC, though the company has since closed. In between then and now, she spent a year working with schools in the Bronx as a member of City Year New York, where she and students would make ice cream in an after school cooking program.
She first stating selling her ice cream about a year ago from a South Bronx pop-up in collaboration with empanada maker Empanology. She says she began building a following there, and spent the following summer in Rome working at a local gelateria. She wants to make Caffè Panna like the casual coffee and ice cream bars of Italy — where diners pop in for espresso in the morning, a scoop of mid-day gelato, and in the evening for a drink.
Eventually, she plans to add a small pastry selection as well as a wine program.