The Dolly Llama, the popular waffle and artisanal ice cream shop based out of Los Angeles, is coming to New York!

Making its debut in the East Village at 137 1st Ave #2 on Saturday March 11th, the Dolly Llama is looking to make its mark in this popular and eclectic neighborhood. The first 100 guests will receive a free swag bag of The Dolly Llama merch, and everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to enter fun giveaways and raffles throughout the day. Set your calendars and get ready!

“Always on the hunt for new business opportunities, I stumbled across The Dolly Llama and it immediately piqued my interest due to the vibrant, fun branding of the unique concept,” says John Harper, franchisee of the Dolly Llama East Village. “The East Village neighborhood is an eclectic mix of incredible restaurants and an abundance of nightlife, basically offering something for everyone. The location is central to NYU, The New School, several other educational institutions, and New York tech offices, making it ideal for a concept like The Dolly Llama. While I’m originally from the Midwest, I’ve been in New York City for almost 25 years and after being in the corporate world for so long, I can’t wait to open The Dolly Llama’s first NYC location in a city I now call home! With my background in retail and management, along with my experience in branding, marketing, social media and more, I feel like this is a marriage made in heaven, and I cannot wait to roll up my sleeves and start welcoming guests from the immediate neighborhood and beyond!” 

“We are thrilled to bring The Dolly Llama desserts to a brand new state and celebrate its grand opening with the East Village community!” says co-founder Eric Shomof. “I realized instantly in my talks with John that we had good rapport and both agreed that this business venture was a good fit. John’s entrepreneurial background, having previously owned a small coffee shop in the East Village, and his corporate background in content, branding and marketing makes me confident that our first Manhattan storefront will be very successful and is in the best of hands. The Dolly Llama is known for staying open late, which is ideal for New Yorkers. We can’t wait to introduce our innovative waffles and ice cream masterpieces to new guests in the Big Apple!” 

The Dolly Llama was designed to be a modern dessert shop where all guests can enjoy hand-crafted waffles and ice cream in a cool, hip and fun environment. The concept’s success can be, in part, attributed to its innovative and artisanal menu, but also the unique experience of visiting The Dolly Llama locations is what makes the shops a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. The currently operating seven locations in Los Angeles, Dallas, Jacksonville (Ponte Vedra Beach), Las Vegas and Orlando (Winter Garden) share an unparalleled aesthetic flair and insta-worthy design featuring eye-catching signage, our iconic llama and “wanted” llama prints along the walls, which the franchised locations will also mirror. The Dolly Llama is also expanding through Texas with an opening in McAllen on Saturday, March 4th and plans to open two locations in Houston by the end of March. 

The brand prides itself on offering authentic European flavors and techniques, such as Belgian waffles using traditional methods, and the Hong Kong Bubble Waffle prepared with a special batter that produces a unique crispy and custard-like texture. The two unique waffle styles — OG Liege Waffle, Bubble Waffle — are the base of the interactive menu of ‘Top Picks’ waffle and ice cream desserts, ice cream waffle sandwiches, and a ‘Build Your Own’ menu, where customers are encouraged to “go nuts” with unlimited toppings resulting in endless flavor possibilities and combinations. Signature Shakes are another over-the-top brand staple. 

The Dolly Llama currently operates three locations in greater Los Angeles, one location in Texas (Dallas), two locations in Florida (Ponte Vedra Beach and Winter Garden) and one location in Las Vegas. The New York East Village location is the first location to debut in New York state, with more locations slated to open in New York soon. 50-store franchises plan to open across the country, with the next location in McAllen, Texas slated to open on March 4th and two locations in Houston, Texas  (Shenandoah and Pearland) in later March 2023. The Dolly Llama East Village location will be open from Monday – Thursday from 12pm-11pm and Friday – Sunday from 12pm-12am.

Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, The Dolly Llama