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Big Gay Ice Cream: Bringing Boys Together


A Texas couple were engaged at the popular West Village dessert shop

The guys behind the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff, have been busy setting up shop in Los Angeles--but that doesn't mean they can't help a little romance happen. This past weekend, they facilitated yet another engagement (their fourth, according to Quint). They also catered dessert at Christine Quinn's wedding last year.

Whenever John Chakalis and Raul Ortega visit New York from their home in Houston, the couple always order soft serve treats at the Grove Street location in New York's West Village. So Chakalis didn't suspect anything unusual, until he saw the sign out front that read: "John, will you marry me?" It included an illustration of one love-struck unicorn proposing to another.

"Raul says, 'Look at the sign,'" Chakalis recalled on Tuesday, in a story on "And I turned back to him and he was already on his knee... He tried to out the ring on the wrong hand so I corrected him."

The shop's assistant manager, Kathy Jimenez, said that once customers saw the sign, they waited for the couple to arrive. After Ortega presented Chakalis with the platinum ring, the store erupted in cheers. Then they did what they typically do when at the shop: They ordered two cones of their fave flavor, Salty Pimp.

The couple say they plan to have a Boston wedding next year, since gay marriage is not recognized in Texas. But they will celebrate this weekend with an engagement party in Houston, where Chakalis said they have a "big gay community." Houston mayor Annise Parker married her partner Kathy Hubbard in California this year.

"After watching them all play out, I have a word of advice to the proposer," Quint said. "Keep your cool...Sneak a shot of vodka before you pop the question."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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