The bad news: Aya Cookhouse is closing. The good new: The Chus are opening a scoop shop.

That’s the word from Aya Cookhouse and Red Orchids owners Kelly and Tony Chu today. Red Orchids will continue to operate, but after three years in business in Mt. Pleasant, the couple announced on Instagram today that they’re shutting down their Asian restaurant next door to Whole Foods effective May 31. But there’s a big time silver lining. The closure partly has to do with a literal win for the couple.

Earlier this month, the Chus brought their Cirsea gelato to New York City to compete in the Gelato World Tour – New York Challenge at the James Beard House. And after taking Kelly’s Coconut gelato spiced with black and pink pepercorn and cinnamon candied pineapple against 14 of the best gelato makers in the U.S., she won.

Now the Chus will fly to Gelato World Tour Grand Finale in Rimini, Italy. Kelly couldn’t tell us what flavor she’s bringing to the finale, but if it’s anything like the many exotic varieties we’ve tried before, it’s gonna be a contender.

So what does all this mean for the Chus? Well, they’re ready to sell their Cirsea ice cream by the scoop and are currently in the process of finding a location downtown. Named Cirsea, the shop will also sell sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, and coffee drinks.

And after that? Supermarkets.

“We are looking to get into supermarkets very shortly,” says Kelly. “That’s the direction we’re going.”

So while Aya is no more, take solace in the fact that in as little as six months from now you could be enjoying a scoop of the best gelato in the the world while strolling King Street.  [location-1]

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