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B&B Butchers Founder to Open Soda Fountain at M-K-T Heights

Houston diners know restaurateur Benjamin Berg for his posh and pricey dining rooms, but he also has a soft-serve heart. Why else would he concoct an old-school soda fountain concept built on ice cream treats, novelties and loaded shakes?

Berg Hospitality Group announced Wednesday it is creating new Buttermilk Baby, coming to the Heights in the fall. Described as the “all-American soda fountain with modern techniques and aesthetics,” Buttermilk Baby is set for M-K-T Heights, 600 N. Shepherd in the development’s Building 2.

Buttermilk Baby’s ice cream bar also will be Texas’ first collaboration with Carvel, the ice cream brand known to generations in New York and Connecticut. Carvel (now based in Atlanta and among Focus Brand’s portfolio that includes Schlotzky’s, Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s and Jamba) is America’s first retail ice cream franchise, known for its soft-serve ice cream, novelty treats such as the Flying Saucer ice cream sandwich, and ice cream cakes such as Fudgie the Whale and Cookie Puss.

In addition to ice cream, Buttermilk Baby will offer breakfast platters, burgers, salads, Southern-inspired biscuits and fried chicken sandwiches.
Berg has tapped the New York-based design firm ICRAVE to create the restaurant’s “Instagrammable” design for the 3,100-square-foot space at M-K-T, which is owned by Triten Real Estate Partners and Radom Capital.

“For Buttermilk Baby, we decided to take our fine-dining mindset and apply it to the aesthetics, ingredients and techniques of a fast casual concept, creating what we are calling a fun, ‘cool casual’ concept,” Berg stated. “We’re taking a great mix of classic Southern dishes and using only the highest-quality ingredients to provide something for everyone.”

Buttermilk Baby’s ice cream program will include soft-serve milkshakes and sundaes as well as Carvel creations such as the Carvelanche (soft-serves shot through with toppings) and ice cream cakes like the beloved Fudgie the Whale.

“Carvel has my favorite soft-serve and is the originator of soft-serve ice cream,” Berg stated. “With the brand being from the Northeast, I am happy to bring it to my new home. And everyone should try a Fudgie the Whale Cake at least once in their life!”