Gelato shop taking over former Uptown Market in the Fan

Moon Rocks Gelato is preparing to open this fall.

After seven years of slinging sandwiches, a Fan storefront soon will be scooping out something sweet.

Moon Rocks Gelato is preparing to open at 2400 W. Main St., a space at the corner of North Stafford Street that previously was occupied by the recently shuttered Uptown Market & Deli.

Behind Moon Rocks is Ali Alasker, a former VCU student and local food industry veteran.

The space was the former home to Uptown Market & Deli.

“It’ll be gelato with a twist,” Alasker said. “There are a lot of ice cream stores in the area down near the Fan and VCU, but there’s not a whole lot of gelato in Richmond, period.”

In addition to gelato and gelato shakes, Alasker said Moon Rocks also will offer waffles with various toppings.

Moon Rocks will be purely a grab-and-go shop without any seating, Alasker said. He’s leasing the roughly 1,500-square-foot space and is finishing renovations.

“Hopefully, we’ll be open in mid-November,” Alasker said.

Local restaurateur Jake Crocker opened Uptown Market in 2012. Crocker also owns Lady N’Awlins and F.W. Sullivan’s, which sit catty-corner to the future Moon Rocks space. Uptown’s former managing partner Joe Carter now owns Izzy’s Kitchen in the former Little Saint space in the Devil’s Triangle.

Moon Rocks will open next to Yellow Bird Tattoo, which recently moved to 2402 W. Main St. from Monroe Ward.

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