Paul Tamburello likes to make an impact wherever he opens his ice cream shops, making each a destination as much as a place to get a sweet treat. His newest location, DANG, is no exception. In addition to this first soft serve ice cream concept in the collection, the founder of the Little Man Ice Cream Company has opened multiple concepts this year, including Constellation Ice Cream in Stapleton, the Little Man Ice Cream Factory, and a location at Denver International Airport. DANG’s location in the Oneida Park retail center in Park Hill presented a special challenge.
The first business to sign on and the last to open in the reinvention of Oneida Park, DANG is relatively small at 1,500 square feet and is set back from the street. Tamburello was concerned it could be overlooked. But the name inspired an idea for how to bring the shop to the forefront, visually and figuratively.
Bold swaths of fuchsia, turquoise, purple, and royal blue decorate the building inside and out. Black and white lava lamp-like murals creep up the walls and across the ceiling. Large purple “hand” chairs welcome guests to stay a while to enjoy their colorful ice cream creations. “We hope the first word out of our guest’s lips upon entering is ‘Dang!’” says Tamburello.
Eight flavors of ice cream are available each day, served individually or swirled together. “We will always have some kind of vanilla, chocolate and fruity flavor and one machine that is always spinning vegans,” says Claire Fields, pastry chef for Little Man. The vegan recipes use soy, coconut, rice and almond in different ratios and in different flavors, Fields explains.
Soft serve can be ordered in cups or cones and dipped in a hard shell, and customers can choose from more than 30 toppings to be patted onto the sides of the twist. Besides soft serve, the only other item on DANG’s menu is French fries to capitalize on the popular practice of dipping hot French fries into cold soft serve ice cream.
Tamburello and his staff say they are glad to be in the Park Hill neighborhood and plan to hold special events and make DANG a community gathering place.
“All of our projects are a labor of love because we really love what we’re doing and we’re very intentional about trying to understand the community that we’re being set in,” says Tamburello. “I know it’s just a little ice cream store, but we take it really seriously.