Iconic frozen hot chocolate spot Serendipity3 reopens this week with new fantasy-filled interiors

July 7, 2021

Photo courtesy of Serendipity3

Iconic Upper East Side restaurant and general store Serendipity3 opened its doors in 1954, attracting the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, and even Jackie O, who is said to have tried to get the recipe for the famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. It was also famously featured in the movie Serendipity, along with One Fine Day and Trust The Man. The decadent dessert spot at 225 East 60th Street has been closed for the past year, but this Friday, July 9, it will reopen to the public after a renovation that created a fantastical, pastel dreamscape, complete with hanging antique Tiffany lamps and a funky neon Pegasus.

A 2007 photo of Serendipity3 by Ben W via Wikimedia Commons

The restaurant was founded by ballet dancer Stephen Bruce. A 2012 article in Jet Set Times explained that Bruce was roommates with two other dancers and artists, Calvin Holt and Patch Carradine. They referred to themselves as three modern-day princes and ultimately named the restaurant after the three princes of Sri Lanka, which was once known as Serendip. The term serendipity as we know it was coined by writer Sir Horace Walpole in the 1700s.

The trio opened Serendipity3 in 1954, serving just pecan pie and espresso from a basement location. As Jet Set Times notes, they adorned the space with “church medallions, stained glasses, giant clocks, street signs, Tiffany lights that cost $10-$25,” creating a unique destination that attracted an artistic and cultural crowd. They also sold these funky items and clothing designed by Bruce, becoming a sort of general store, too. When Serendipity3 opened in its current location, they began serving lunch and dinner, too.

Photos courtesy of Serendipity3

Fast forward nearly 70 years, and the dining destination is just as popular. In addition to attracting international tourists, it’s a favorite of Cher, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Kim Kardashian, and its new partner and investor Selena Gomez.

The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, made of a secret blend of 14 exotic cocoas, is undoubtedly the most iconic dish (they’ve served more than 30 million of them). But when it reopens, Serendipity3 will debut some new menu additions that include the Infamous Truffle Burger with Boursin cheese and black truffle mayo and an It’s My Birthday Cake Sundae that includes cake batter ice cream, a giant piece of cake, whipped cream, hot fudge, and a cherry on top.

The new space has received a modern and colorful overhaul, complete with pastel pink walls and gilded gold accents while retaining timeless elements like Tiffany lamps and antique clocks.

Serendipity3 will be open Wednesday-Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. They are taking reservations now.


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