Where in Westminster: American Ice Co., “Enter as Strangers! Leave as Friends…”

American Ice Co.’s honey maple latte and hazelnut beignets (Sophie Gilbart / McDaniel Free Press).American Ice Co.’s honey maple latte and hazelnut beignets (Sophie Gilbart / McDaniel Free Press).

Looking for a new hangout spot or a quiet place to get caught up on schoolwork? You might want to check out American Ice Co. (AIC). Located within walking distance on Main Street, this cafe opened just last year but has already been making steps to become a place to bring the community together. During the day, the cafe is a friendly stop for a warm drink or a quick lunch. On Tuesday and Friday nights though, they open up the cafe for open mic nights and live music.

The decor is cozy and welcoming with emphasis placed on lots of natural wood and lit up with string lights running along the ceiling. The exposed brick and chalkboard menus give it a rustic feel that is only improved by the friendly people and soft music playing in the background. This combined with the quiet upstairs area makes it an ideal place for studying and customers are encouraged to stick around and enjoy AIC’s hospitality for a while. 

For McDaniel students, AIC offers a 20 percent discount and they have an entire upstairs area to study or talk, as well as free wifi through Ting. The conference room upstairs is also available for reservation for meetings or events. In warmer weather, they have outdoor seating out front and around back. 

AIC has also been partnering with other local businesses like Hen’s Nest Eggs in New Windsor and Baughers here in Westminster. Their apple cider chai incorporates Baugher’s popular apple cider and their own chai recipe for a perfect fall drink. If you’re feeling adventurous, their ever-expanding drink menu also offers things like white chocolate lavender hot chocolate and honey maple lattes. 

 If you’re hungry, AIC offers several breakfast and lunch options from a simple ham, egg, and cheese croissant to their Fiery “Naan-Wich,” their own take on a chicken sandwich. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, they also offer an array of baked goods. If you’re lucky, you might be able to grab some of their hazelnut beignets, a personal favorite of mine. Their curry chicken salad is one of their most popular lunch items, and for good reason. Even their oatmeal offers something special, incorporating fresh berries, figs, and yogurt to transform a traditional breakfast.

All their food is made from scratch and they also offer gluten-free options. If bubble tea is your thing, AIC offers several different varieties from the more traditional Thai bubble tea to their purple Taro boba. If you aren’t trying to leave campus (understandably given the circumstances), AIC is on DoorDash. In addition, curbside pickup and phone orders are also an option. 

When asked about what she wanted the people of Westminster to know, manager Alisha O’Malley said “The plan is to be open longer for dinner and start introducing craft beers and wines.” Currently, the open mic and live music events are BYOB, but AIC is hoping to obtain their liquor license and start serving beverages at these events as well. 

In regards to potential community events, Alisha said to “look forward to some outdoor festivals in 2021.” Their goal is to hold more art and music events as time goes on. In the meantime, if you play an instrument and are interested in performing, you can sign up for an open mic night or just come out to enjoy the ambiance. 

For more information about American Ice Co., you can contact Alisha at alisha.omalley@aic.cafe. When she’s not working at the cafe, you can find Alisha performing music in various cafes, wineries, and distilleries in and around the Baltimore area. You can also come check out the cafe for yourself at 62 West Main Street, just a ten minute’s walk from McDaniel College’s main campus.