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Big Gay Ice Cream Founder Sues Partner Alleging Mismanagement, Fraud

Plus, a decades-old rice roll cart is closing — and more intel

A man, Doug Quint, hangs out the window of a soft serve truck with the branding Big Gay Ice Cream.
Doug Quint, a founder of Big Gay Ice Cream. He’s suing a partner at the soft-serve company for $4 million.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Big Gay Ice Cream is on the rocks: Doug Quint, a founder of the New York soft serve company, is suing another partner at the company. On Friday, Quint filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against partner Jon Chapski accusing him of failing to pay the company’s debts and misusing government loans during the pandemic, the New York Times first reported. Chapski was hired as a financial adviser in 2011; he became a partner in 2016 and ran the soft serve brand’s day-to-day operations as it expanded nationally.

The chain started with a soft serve truck at the annual Brooklyn Pride Parade in 2009. Over the next decade, it grew into a national chain with seven locations; it eventually sold its colorful pints in supermarkets across the country. It’s now down to one ice cream shop on the Upper West Side. The original store in the East Village closed in 2021. Its shops in the West Village and Philadelphia closed following evictions over unpaid rent. In the West Village, the company owed its landlord more than $400,000, according to the Times.

A longtime rice roll vendor is retiring

Mei Leung, the owner of a decades-old rice roll cart in Manhattan’s Chinatown, is closing her Centre Street stall after two decades. “This cart put her kids through college, bought her a house, and defined the childhoods of Chinatown residents,” Righteous Eats, a brand that profiles food operators, said in a video on Wednesday. The stall has been operating at 153 Centre Street, near Canal Street, for 25 years. At one point, her rice rolls cost a dollar. The last day is September 1.

A Cuban restaurant closes after 14 years

Pilar, a Cuban restaurant that anchored the corner of Bedford Avenue and Green Street in Bed-Stuy for over a decade, closed this week after 14 years. The restaurant announced the decision on social media: “Our post-covid year was not where we needed it to be, and we just could not sustain the business.” The last day was August 27. The bakery that the team opened next door in 2019 will remain open.