First Las Vegas Bruster’s Location to Open on Durango Drive

“Barring having a barnyard outside, this is the freshest ice cream you’re going to get”
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Las Vegas’s much-anticipated first Bruster’s Real Ice Cream location will soon open on Durango Drive South, just outside the Lakes.

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The ice cream chain serves a variety of ice cream flavors made on-site with dairy from Bruster’s own Pennsylvania-based dairy farm. In addition to familiar favorites like Vanilla and Black Raspberry, Bruster’s offers a startlingly large rotation of ice cream flavors that include, to name only a few, Caramel Apple, Triple Chocolate Oreo, and Cotton Candy Explosion.

“Barring having a barnyard outside, this is the freshest ice cream you’re going to get,” franchise owner Dave Soumas told What Now Las Vegas in a Friday morning phone call. “What we’re getting from the dairy goes right in the machine and comes right out. Straight from the cow.”

Eater Las Vegas first broke the news that the chain would open several locations in the Las Vegas Valley in February, 2018. In the years following, Soumas said, the project faced a series of setbacks but has advanced undeterred toward a 2021 opening.

Soumas was highly selective about the location. “We wanted a free-standing building with a drive-thru,” he said. “Ice cream shops in endcaps are abundant, but we wanted there to be a gathering place. In other places, there’s nowhere to eat your ice cream.”

In addition to the 1,200 square-foot indoor space—already roomy for an ice cream shop—the location features an equally-spacious canopy outside, in a 2000 square-foot gathering area with benches, turf, to be heated during the cold months.

Following these real estate difficulties, exacerbated by the hype brought on by news of the Raiders football team’s move to Las Vegas, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived to further complicate matters.

“We were definitely affected by COVID,” Soumas said while describing the restaurant’s goal to support the community through sponsorships and fundraisers. “That was the most frustrating thing about 2020. We should have been open and should have been able to support people who were struggling, but we couldn’t open our doors.”

The Las Vegas Bruster’s project now emerges from these hardships after a long perseverance. The hard date for the 2862 S Durango Drive location’s grand opening remains to be determined, but it is expected to be before the end of this year, and more locations are expected to follow.

“We knew we were planting roots that were going to be long and deep,” Soumas said. “We plan to be here for a good, long time.”

Neil Cooney

Neil Cooney

Neil Cooney is a freelance writer. He has received an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University, and his work has been published in the Masters Review. He lives in Nashville, TN, where he spends his free time cooking Korean food and studying chess.
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