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A red cup of bright red sorbet and a yellow spoon sits on a counter. Gerard + Belevender

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Momento Gelato Brings Affogatos and Ice Cream Sandwiches to Corktown

The new gelato and coffee shop opened for winter to gear up ahead of summer months

A new gelato and coffee shop opened its doors in Corktown this month, bringing an array of creamy gelato, espresso drinks, and small breakfast and lunch bites to the neighborhood.

Momento Gelato opened Wednesday, January 5 at 2120 Trumbull, as part of the Elton Park mixed-use development, which consists of six apartment rental buildings and ground floor retail space, two of which surround the longstanding UFO Factory. The interior design was done by Berardi + Partners and pays a subtle homage to the classic ice cream parlor with the use of pastel-colored subway tiles. Photos of famous Detroiters throughout history, including Berry Gordy, Henry Ford, and Grace Lee Boggs don one of the walls. An enclosed patio features windows that can open up completely, weather permitting, where guests can take in the fresh air.

The interior pays a subtle homage to the classic ice cream parlor with pastel-colored subway tiles.
Gerard + Belevender
A woman wearing rings holding a waffle cone of gelato at Momento Gelato in Corktown.
A creamy cone at Momento Gelato. The gelato and coffee shop opened January 5 in Corktown.
Gerard + Belevender

Momento is the creation of Tom Isaia, who made a name for himself in the coffee business, says general manager Reilly Reynolds. While espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos have been commonplace for decades now, Reynolds says that he introduced the concept to Michigan in 1975 when he opened the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor as a cafe featuring among the very-first espresso machines in the state. Isaia eventually sold the space and went on to found Coffee Express, a roasting company based in Plymouth.

After more than 40 years in the coffee business, Reynolds says that Isaia was ready to retire, but decided to instead begin exploring the world of gelato. He learned the techniques of Italian ice cream-making in Bologna before setting his sights on opening a shop in his hometown of Detroit.

As for the menu, the shop currently features five flavors, including pistachio, coffee (sourced from Coffee Express), vanilla cherry swirl, and lemon custard. Reynolds says seasonal flavors will be added and once the summer months approach she expects up to 14 varieties will be on hand. All gelatos are made on-site using fresh ingredients. In addition, the shop offers non-dairy sorbet, specials like gelato cookie sandwiches, espresso drinks, drip coffee, affogato, as well as an assortment of paninis and baked goods.

Momento Gelato at 2120 Trumbull; 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday; momentogelato.com

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