The story of An’s Dry Cleaning + An’s Hatmakers in San Diego, CA

An's Hatmaker

Gelato time. | Photo via @sdfoodista

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The names An’s Dry Cleaning + An’s Hatmakers would make you think we’re talking about clothing — but there’s a sweeter story behind these two businesses, and we’ve got the scoop.

When An’s Gelato opened its first store, it found itself with a unique opportunity. The co-founders — Kris Warren, David Aguilera, Travis Bailey + Jimmy Blalock — knew about making the frozen dessert, but they quickly learned that topping their flavors with local history made for an experience that’s as San Diegan as it is delicious.

An's Dry Cleaning North Park

There’s more than meets the eye at this storefront. | Photo via @lucid_nap

🧥 What’s with the name?

In 2018, the co-founders opened their first gelato shop at the former home of An’s Alterations and Dry Cleaning in North Park. The business didn’t have a set name yet, so the group jokingly suggested keeping the name of the former business that sat at that location — and ultimately it stuck. According to the brand’s website, changing the name just didn’t feel right.

The name isn’t a joke anymore; the shop now takes the theme very seriously. The menu is frequently updated with new flavors that draw inspiration from new + old fabrics — like “Yoga Pants” a pumpkin gelato with pumpkin spice + cold brew flavors that sounds like fall in a cup. The gelato was no laughing matter either, it earned a spot on USA Today’s top 10 US ice cream parlors in 2019.

🏙️ At home in North Park

North Park is known for its urban city feel, and this spans back to the early 1900s. In the 1930s, the neighborhood began to boom with single + multi-family homes, while Adams Avenue housed many businesses. An’s Dry Cleaning’s storefront was first built in 1934 and remains frozen in time with art deco influences. The owners incorporated this into the interior — a quirky + charming design that fits North Park’s personality.

📍 3017 Adams Ave.

An's Hatmakers rack

Notice the pints of ice cream hidden in the hats. | Photo via @sdfoodista

👒 Hello An’s Hatmakers

In early 2022, An’s Gelato headed to Del Mar to open An’s Hatmakers, serving gelato made with the same expertise + locally-sourced ingredients you’ll find in North Park — but with a twist.

This shop is inspired by upscale headwear. You might find some similar flavors on the menu, like “Leather,” but you’ll also find exclusives that are a perfect fit for a hatmaker — think “Scally Cap” or “Fedora.”

🐎 Why Del Mar?

The city is known for its annual Del Mar Racing seasons where spectators are known to dress tastefully and top it off with a big, flashy hat. Since 1995, Del Mar Racing has hosted its beloved Open Day Hat Contest, but the tradition dates back to 1937 when Bing Crosby would greet attendees while wearing a festive hat. So, with a tip of the hat, Del Mar welcomed the new gelato shop that celebrates a unique aspect of its culture.

📍 1555 Camino Del Mar, Ste. 115

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