The opening of Below Fahrenheit, a Thai Roll ice cream shop


By Tristan Blake Rines |

On April 15, Below Fahrenheit: The Sweet Lounge at 1143 E Main St., opened its doors for the first time to the Radford community, featuring a new type of ice cream you may have only seen while scrolling through social media.

Owned by Jonathan Ross and Danielle Helms, the opening day was the culmination of a few months of hard work, staff training, and remodeling of the former small business, Lucie Monroe’s: Cafe & Bakery, which moved to Christiansburg. “So far so good.”, said Helms when asked about the first day. “It’s trending and everyone loves to see stuff get chopped up and start from scratch so you know what you’re eating,” Helms added when asked about the ice cream.

Ross, who also owns another small business in Roanoke, Bare Ice Cream, has made a smooth transition in opening Below Fahrenheit. However, the twist on this product is the preparation and appearance.

“We use a special base that we make. It’s mixed with fresh fruit and traditional toppings. We mix it together on a cold plate at negative twenty-degrees. We spread it out on that cold plate, and roll it up … It’s all a ‘create your own’ kind of thing,” explained Ross. The result is a very delectable treat that with the summer coming up, is expected to be a hit.

The ice cream itself you may have seen rolling around social media since about 2015 where the preparation of this dessert started trending. This kind of ice cream originates from Thailand, where it is referred to as stir-fried ice cream or pronounced “I-Tim-Pad.”

The partners have their eyes set on connecting with the Radford University community, trying to cultivate a comfortable environment that students can come to and do their homework and even just enjoy with friends. “We’re thinking of doing some kind of karaoke nights. … we want to try to find a way to connect ‘culture wise’.”, said Ross.

The interior of the establishment is quite modern with wood floors, stylish chairs and sofas, and a theme of greys, whites, and greens. A very selfie and picture worthy “hang out for a little while” kind of spot.

Below Fahrenheit also isn’t terribly expensive, costing $4.99 before tax, they are also accepting RU Express. There are over 200 different combinations to be had with ingredients like cotton candy, mangos, and an assortment of all kinds of goodies. “My personal favorite is with Golden Oreos and strawberry syrup,” said Helms.

After being open for only a few days so far, Below Fahrenheit is ready to welcome the Radford community and students with open arms and yummy Thai ice cream.

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Photo Credit: (Tristan Blake Rines-Contributing Writer)

Dylan Lepore

Dylan is a writer, gamer, avid movie lover, and PlayStation extraordinaire. Currently, he attends Radford University in pursuit of a BS in Media Studies with a concentration in Journalism. If I played the game, I like it; if I haven't played it, just remember that I'm in college. ($ = tuition)