Bar Ape, pronounced ah-pay , has nothing to do with primates. The walk-up ice cream stand got its start in Toronto hawking scratch-made gelato bars from a retro Italian three-wheeled motorcycle (a.k.a an ape).
Now having taken over former address of The Village Scoop on Rushton just north of St. Clair, owners James Carnevale and Nick Genova have settled in and expanded their offerings at this first stationary outpost.
Gelato bars ($5) are as popular as ever and can be served up instantly from the freezer behind the counter. The selection of flavours changes frequently with the availability of seasonal ingredients.
On a recent summer evening when I visit, there's a double chocolate sorbet, orange creamsicle, lemon, raspberry, pistachio, chocolate hazelnut and coconut toasted almond on offer.
On another day you're just as likely to find features like lemon sage, red currant, or strawberry balsamic vinegar.
New to the line-up is soft serve ($5). Scratch made soft serve gelato follows the same small-batch, seasonal formula as the bars.
Two featured flavours are available each day to be had solo or swirled. Today, there's a crisp tangy passion fruit and Oaxaca vanilla, though Instagram has documented everything from sour cherry and grapefruit to mint and rhubarb.
Hard packed sundaes ($5) are a major improvement on those found in your local convenience store These ready-to-go gelato cups come in limited quantities with seasonal fruit purees or chocolate sauce incorporated throughout. Flavours like strawberry basil, rhubarb thyme and chocolate hazelnut have all made a recent appearance.
The benches outside have become a popular hang-out in the summer evenings. Those who'd rather take their gelato to go can easily grab a tub ($10) for take-home.
Photos by Jesse Milns