By Joy Bergman

Back in the day, if you enjoyed your milkshake, you would shake your bartender’s hand as a sign of satisfaction. This is where the word “shake” in milkshake comes from. And at the all-new The Yard Milkshake Bar in Carrollwood, you can bet that you’ll be shaking the staff’s hands up and down once you try one of their delectable milkshakes – that is, assuming you can balance a pint of creamy goodness in one hand! Founders Logan and Chelsea Green first launched The Yard back in 2017 and quickly found much success. They even attracted attention from the notorious sharks on Shark Tank and were soon invited to be on the show. People from around the country enjoyed watching the up-and-coming franchise take flight, including single mom Carolina Maria. She and her three kids “loved the [Yard] concept because it’s a totally different concept,” she shared. With the encouragement from her children, her go-getter attitude, and of course, her love for ice cream, Carolina decided to apply for a franchise in Carrollwood. After much hard work and dedication, Carolina proudly opened The Yard Milkshake Bar off of Dale Mabry in October 2021. 

Though the milkshake bar might be new, the specialty shakes draw customers from throughout the area; some from even across the state! As Bryan I. From Jupiter says, “If you are serious about milkshakes, there is not even a competition between choosing this place versus anything,” he comments. “A manager told us they not only use Hershey’s ice cream, but they are specific in using local add-ons…” And it’s true. In addition to using top-notch Hershey’s Premium ice cream, The Yard also uses specialty toppings from local businesses where needed, such as their stunning  Key Lime Pie. But most toppings, including The Yard’s exquisite mermaid tail, various cookies, and their delicious chocolate-dipped cones, are all made in-house. And it’s these intricate details that really are the icing on the “shake.” As Elite reviewer Drea says, “[This is] the best ice cream I’ve had since I moved to Tampa. There was a line, but it was worth the wait!! The creative finishing of each bowl and milkshake is amazing!! There are so many flavors and toppings to choose from. I literally wanted to try everything on the menu…”

Indeed, there are so many great options at the Yard, that’s it’s hard to know where to begin! After all, there are 30-40 ice cream flavors to choose from, 8 edible cookie doughs, floats, specialty cones and bowls, cookie dough pops, and of course, The Yard’s signature Freak Shakes! While the Freak Shakes are actual milkshakes, you can get any flavor in an ice cream Sundae or in a Specialty Bowl. Order a Sundae if you want your treat in pure ice cream form, or a bowl if you would like a smaller variation. Even better, you can always customize any item to the exact way you want it – whether it’s a simple scoop or an out-of-this-world concoction!  

A good place to begin, however, is the Carrollwood exclusive Key Lime Pie Freak Shake. This lime-licious shake was dreamed up by Carolina, her daughter, and  two sons, and serves as the staple of the new location. With combined flavors of Key Lime Pie and Graham Central Station ice cream, lime marshmallow cream, and toppings of whipped cream, crushed graham crackers, lime marshmallow cream, a lemon wedge, and a slice of delicious Key Lime Pie, you can bet this dream shake won’t disappoint. In addition, like all other Freak Shakes at The Yard, the signature mason jar is also decorated with edible goodies, too. If Key Lime isn’t your thing, though, don’t be afraid to try some other popular flavors, such as The Cookie Monster, The Peanut Butter Bliss, and the Caramel Cheesecake. And of course, don’t forget to ask about the mouthwatering shakes on the secret menu: The Champa Bay and the Buccaneer. Keep your eye out for unbelievable monthly specials, as well. Are you gluten-free, vegan, or non-dairy? No problem! The Yard has tasty options available for you too, such as the gluten-free Cereal Killer, and the Not Milk non-dairy, vegan milkshake.

Whether you order a Freak Shake, a Sundae or a Bowl, just remember that everything is hand-scooped with care and decorated individually. This may take time, so sit back, relax, and be prepared to say “Wow!” when your slice of heaven is delivered to your table. And when you’re all done devouring your treat, wash out your jar at the rinse sink for a great souvenir. On the go? No worries! Just grab your favorite ice cream flavor from the “Grab ‘n’ Go” fridge, as well as a pup cup, and you’re on your way. You’ll want to pick up some edible cookie dough To-Go, too. Regardless of what you choose, though, The Yard is more than just another milkshake joint. It’s a place where you can let your childlike imagination soar, a place where you can share a smile with family over elegantly topped milkshakes, or simply, a comfy place to sit back and enjoy a cone. No matter what brings you to The Yard, however, it’s an experience many agree you won’t want to miss!

Get your own scoop of joy today at The Yard Milkshake Bar! The Yard Milkshake Bar is located at 13168 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. unit 30, Tampa, 33618. The store’s hours are Monday thru Thursday, 12 – 9:30 P.M., and Friday thru Sunday, 12 – 10 P.M. Give them a call at (813)269-4845. Visit them at @theyardcarrollwood on FaceBook, and at @theyardmilkshakebar on TikTok and Instagram!