Dining With Denise Neil

A new tenant for an old Rita’s Italian Ice space in Wichita

The rolled ice cream shop 8 Below will open another location on Wichita’s east side.
The rolled ice cream shop 8 Below will open another location on Wichita’s east side. The Wichita Eagle

When the rolled ice cream trend rolled into Wichita this summer, it went over big time – so big time that people waited in long lines to get a taste of 8 Below Rolled Ice Cream, which opened in June in one of the Union Station canopies at 701 E. Douglas.

Sometimes, they’d wait more than an hour.

But soon, they’ll be able to get some 8 Below goodness without the wait.

Jason Huang, who owns the shop (and also the new Blue Fin Sake Bar & Sushi at 255 N. Washington) is about to open a second 8 Below. This one will be in the old Rita’s Italian Ice space next to the Five Guys at 2929 N. Rock Road. (All the Rita’s stores in Wichita closed for good in February.)

He hopes to have the new store open in early October, he said, and because it will be bigger, waits will be shorter.

“We will have more stations, so people won’t have to wait as long,” he said.

The ice cream at 8 Below is made when the mixture is flattened on a pan that’s 8 degrees below zero then scraped into egg-roll-sized rolls that are arranged in a bowl and covered with toppings. Watching the treat being made is almost as fun as eating it.

Ice cream flavors include vanilla, strawberry, coffee and green tea. Customers then can choose three toppings from a list that includes fresh fruit, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, gummy bears and marshmallows. Finally, they choose a drizzle of either condensed milk, caramel, strawberry, chocolate or whipped cream.

Huang also is working on opening Noodles to Go, which will be in the canopy right next to 8 Below in Union Station. Equipment delivery has slowed down the opening, Huang said, but he hopes to also have it ready in October.

Also, Huang said, 8 Below in Union Station will continue to operate through the winter but with shortened hours.

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