The Screen Door (145 Driggs Ave.), an ice cream shop in Greenpoint near McGolrick Park, reopens for the season on March 8. That’s right, spring is coming, even though it doesn’t feel like it, and The Screen Door’s owner Kate Covey is excited to see her customers after a long winter break.

Greenpointers spoke with Greenpoint local Kate Covey, who lives a couple of blocks away from The Screen Door, and got the scoop (sorry!) about the ice cream shop’s origins, extensive menu, and an exciting new addition for the 2024 season.

A shake outside The Screen Door. Photo: The Screen Door

Greenpointers:  The Screen Door is a Greenpoint favorite, and I’m looking forward to the reopening. Beforehand, I’d love to hear about its origins and your journey to owning it?

Kate Covey:  Well, I grew up in a family restaurant. It was a quintessential New England fried seafood restaurant. It was seasonal and had an ice cream window. I worked the window as a pre-teen, and that’s where I learned all the tricks.

We were not the original owners of the restaurant. It opened in the 1930s, and a lot of the menu remained the same. A lot of what we have at The Screen Door comes from that menu…things like floats and ice cream sodas and sundaes. 


I knew I wanted to have my own place one day, but, first I went off and did a bunch of other things, and then circled back to ice cream.

Greenpointers:  Can you tell us about these mysterious ‘other things?’

Covey:  I was a traveling English teacher for ten years. I spent a lot of time in Europe, then in China and Thailand, then Chile. I love to travel and I love encouraging young people to travel. I also worked in a non-profit for another ten years, helping people get visas.

Once my family settled in Greenpoint, I went back to my roots and wanted to open the shop.

Greenpointers:  So, you have always wanted to own an ice cream shop?

Covey:  Yes, absolutely! It was always my dream to have a small local business. I loved working with my parents, and now that I have a son, I look forward to that aspect, too. That’s the dream.

Kate Covey, owner of The Screen Door, with her son in the shop. Photo: The Screen Door

Greenpointers:  How is The Screen Door different than other ice cream shops in the neighborhood?

Covey:  We wanted to go for a traditional ice cream shop. There are a lot of places that do amazing things that are new and inventive, but we wanted to go with the basics. Things like soft serve, sundaes, banana splits, and floats.

We had this idea of doing an ice cream shop like the one you went to with your parents when you were a child. There is a nostalgia factor. I wanted families to come and experience it together. 

I also wanted to keep it affordable. It’s hard to find a spot you can be a regular at. I want people to be able to come as a group and get a treat on a regular basis.

The interior of The Screen Door. Photo: The Screen Door

Greenpointers:  Border Town is popping up at The Screen Door. How did that come about?

Covey:  We are seasonal, so it makes sense for us. Border Town reached out a while back, to ask about hosting a pop-up, but we just came out of the pandemic. Now, we are going into our sixth season, and it was the right time. It worked out, and I couldn’t be happier for them. They are wildly popular.

Greenpointers:  Will they still serve breakfast tacos after the ice cream shop reopens on March 8?

Covey:  We went into it open-ended, but the space is limited. What I’ll say is that it is a great pop-up for the winter season.

Greenpointers:  So, there are no other pop-ups in mind?

Covey:  I am open to hearing ideas, but there is nothing permanent in the works.

A scoop of ice cream in a dipped cone from The Screen Door, an ice cream shop in Greenpoint. Photo: The Screen Door

Greenpointers:  Let’s talk about The Screen Door’s awesome ice cream. Last season, what was the most popular order?

Covey:  One popular order is the flurrie sundae. We have the only flurrie sundae in Brooklyn as far as I know.

The most popular regular scoop is moose tracks with fudge and peanut butter. All of our hard ice cream is from a farm in Maine called Gifford’s. It’s a four-generation family dairy farm and a wonderful organization.

Soft serve is also popular, especially with local children. Root beer floats and orange freezes are popular, too.

Greenpointers: What is your favorite menu item?

Covey:  The black and white shake is my favorite. It’s vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and seltzer. 

Greenpointers:  The menu is extensive, but what if a customer asks for something not on the menu?

Covey:  We are very open to hearing new ideas. If we can make it, we will make it. We are up for a challenge. We want to make what people want, how they want it. For example, if you can’t decide between soft and hard ice creams, we can serve hard ice cream with a soft “hat” on top.

We love dipping things, and I encourage people to ask if they want the ice cream dipped. Soft serve is most classic option for dipping, but even scooped ice cream works. I think the crunch coating adds another element. We also have fruit pops that can be dipped.

We can do the same with cakes and make custom ones with almost anything. They are very reasonably priced. Plus, we have cupcakes, too, for birthday parties. We’ve been calling them ‘shooters,’ but we are still playing around with name. I also like the name ‘dollops.’ These cupcakes are essentially a dollop of soft serve in cupcake wrapper. They are perfect for younger kids because they are hand-held.

An ice cream cake from The Screen Door. Photo: The Screen Door

Greenpointers:  Do you have any new surprises in store for this season?

Covey:  Yes! There is one new item I am thrilled about. It’s a frozen dipped cheesecake on a stick. It can have a chocolate or cherry hard shell. I am so excited because aI think cheesecake is very Brooklyn.

Greenpointers:  Sounds delicious! Anything else readers should know?

Covey:  I would love to mention how fortunate The Screen Door has been to have such an amazing team. The staff goes above and beyond to treat our guests with kindness and to make our shop a fun and inviting environment. We truly strive to be a warm and welcoming neighborhood spot. 

We are so excited for another year and thrilled to see neighbors again and maybe some new faces!

Join the Conversation


  1. I grew up in the ’60s and never experienced this “seasonal food” BS. The concept and practice of ice cream shops being seasonal is stupid. Why can’t I get a shake or some other ice cream concoction all year round? I’ll eat ice cream whether it’s 95° or -20° outside. Thank goodness for real ice cream stores like Carvel that are open all year long.

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