Last year, Grub Street Philadelphia reported that 25-year-old Ritas Water Ice was aiming to open 600 stores by the end of 2009, so its no surprise that according to QSR Web, the company will open three locations in Manhattan. The first will open February 14, when all visitors between the hours of 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. will get a free regular-size Italian ice (the first 100 customers will get a years supply). Ritas traditionally does these giveaways on the first day of spring (according to Wikipedia, 1.2 million cups were distributed last year in a ten-hour period). In addition to Italian ices made on site, Ritas serves frozen custard, gelati (actually a combination of ice and frozen custard), and blended custard-and-water-ice drinks. QSR Web doesnt give an address for the first location, but a Ritas Facebook page reveals its at 2486 Broadway near 92nd Street.
Rita's debuts chocolate chip ice at Manhattan location [QSR Web]
Ritas Water Ice NYC [Facebook]