Brisbane was promised Gelato Messina by October last year. But one of the hottest summers on record came and went and, apart from a couple of pop-ups, the city was left to swelter without it.

Finally, though, it’s here. The ice-cream specialist will open its 16th Australian store on South Brisbane’s Melbourne Street at 5pm today.

It’s the biggest yet. Inside, counters are piled high with glistening, colourful gelato. Customers can see the icy treat being churned and Messina’s signature cakes being constructed. Off to one side there’s a dedicated classroom. “It’s going to take us a month or two to find our feet, but we’re bringing the whole kit and kaboodle to Brisbane,” says co-owner Declan lee. “We’re pretty excited about Brissie.”

Brisbane’s Gelato Messina will offer the full range of 40 flavours, including five specials. The specials change throughout the week, so every day a new flavour goes into the cabinet. “We have a rotating back catalogue of 4000 flavours,” Lee explains. “And then we produce new ones every week.”

For the opening Messina has created a special flavour called “Queenslandaarr” – a mix of ginger gelato with pineapple cake and Bundaberg rum caramel. “We [were] think[ing] of how proud Queenslanders are of Queensland in general,” Lee says. “When you watch State of Origin and see how passionate everyone is about that – that’s where the Queenslandaarr inspiration came from.”

The 200-square-metre space has a distinctly retro vibe, mostly thanks to the mid-century-styled timber shelving up one wall. Retro vases, intriguing statues and a star clock from Dansk Vintage complete the look.

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Once the store is up and running, Lee says Messina will use its classroom to launch gelato classes and dining experiences.

Gelato Messina
Shop 1, The Melbourne Residences, 109 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane

Sun to Thu 12pm–11pm
Fri & Sat 12pm–11.30pm