New pop-up snoball stand, called ‘Chance in Hell,’ making waves in the Bywater

One of the area’s newest sno-ball stands with a clever name is making waves in the Bywater.

Chance in Hell SnoBalls opened for the first time this summer as a pop-up on the corner of France and Burgundy Streets, and word about the artisan treats at this hidden gem has traveled fast.

The owners, who collectively call themselves Kitten and Lou, say the response has been “growing steadily” since opening for their inaugural season.

Prior to the pandemic, the married couple toured full-time as a performing duo in the drag and burlesque world, known professionally as Kitten LaRue and Lou Henry Hoover. With COVID-19 halting work in most of the entertainment industry, the couple tapped into other talents to make ends meet.

“At first, it was just a little pandemic project to keep us busy and help pay some bills, but it’s been an amazing way to feel connected to our neighbors and our city (socially distanced and masked of course) during all of this weirdness,” Kitten and Lou said. “We also love to cook and garden, and felt inspired by the way snoballs are an essential part of NOLA’s cultural fabric.”

Just like the unique surroundings of the Bywater neighborhood, Chance in Hell SnoBalls stands out from the crowd with a pretty interesting collection of flavors. Each week, the owners rotate a menu of new “super fresh,” all-natural, artisanal concoctions described as “often complex and herbaceous.”

“We’re mostly inspired by what’s seasonal, what’s growing in our garden, or what we can get from local growers whenever possible,” Kitten and Lou said.

Kitten and Lou say their most popular flavors are Key Lime Pie (topped with condensed milk and graham cracker crumbles), Pistachio Lemon Cream and Tom Kha (lemongrass, fresh basil, ginger, mint, coconut milk).

Sno-ball purists can find the classic nectar flavor on the menu, made with real vanilla and almond extracts.

Recently, the pair created a flavor called “Vampire Slayer” made with caramelized black garlic, rich cocoa, molasses, coconut cream and served with a post-snoball mint.

“That was pretty wild, but people brave enough to order it absolutely loved it!” the owners said.

Customers can also find fun spins on classic desserts like their “Pineapple-Upside-Down Cake” flavor, made with pineapple slow-roasted with brown sugar and cinnamon, vanilla extract and coconut cream, topped with a maraschino cherry.

Other past flavors on the menu include Papaya Party, Raspberry Lemonade, Cafe Colombiano, Watermelon Jalapeno Lime, Cucumber Cardamom Basil, Fresh Mint Lemonade and Dragonfruit Lime, among others.

“We like to experiment with our flavors which change weekly,” the owners said. “It keeps it fun for us, and for the folks that come back every weekend.”

Owners say the name “Chance in Hell” was inspired by a riff on the expression “a snowball’s chance in hell.”

“There’s also the cheeky double entendre that it’s our personal ‘chance’ to survive in the ‘hell’ of these strange and upsetting times,” they said.

The sno-ball stand also stands out by being socially conscious — using compostable cups, spoons and straws.

“While we love New Orleans traditions like parades, go-cups, and snowballs unfortunately a lot of those traditions create a ton of waste that will be around forever,” they said. “We wanted folks to be able to enjoy one of their favorite local summer rituals without the guilt of adding to an ever-increasing environmental crisis.”

If you’re trying to plan a whole day out for the family, Chance in Hell SnoBalls has that covered, too.

There’s a Doggy Snoball, which is organic, low-sodium chicken broth poured over shaved ice. A special kid’s flavor is called “Unicorn Poop!” which is a pretty purple combination of mixed berry and vanilla, topped with rainbow confetti sprinkles and condensed milk. Plus, the grown-ups can turn any flavor into a boozy sno-ball.

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PARENTS, our gift to you: You want delicious artisanal all-natural snoball magic but the kids don’t want any of our “weird” flavors? Meet UNICORN POOP! A fun purple mixed berry and vanilla base, a tad sweeter than our other flavors, and topped with a little sweetened condensed milk and edible rainbow confetti…everybody wins!🦄💩🎉🌈 (and no we won’t judge you grown ass kids for ordering it😛) FRI-SUN 3-7pm! Precious lil’ bb’s by @makem_looktwice and @verbalgurl #snoballseason #nolasnowballs #nolapopup #naturalsnoballs #porchpopup #allnaturaltreats #nolatreats #bywater #bywaternola #bywatertreats #snowizard #lovetoeatnola #bywatereats #followyournola #artisanaltreats #supportqueerbusiness #eatlocal #offthebeatenpathnola #snoballs

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The pair says they hope to expand beyond their Bywater pop-up in the future. They have already started teaming up with other local businesses for additional pop-ups around town. Recently, Chance in Hell SnoBalls hosted a pop-up at Merchant House, the retail co-op on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District.

“We’d love to eventually get a food truck so that we can bring some Chance In Hell Snoball magic to other neighborhoods in NOLA beyond the Bywater!” the owners said.

Chance in Hell SnoBalls typically pops up weekly from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday to Sunday. The owners say they’ve started teaming up for pop-ups in partnerships with local businesses around town on other days.

For the latest updates and changes in pop-up location or times, follow the Chance in Hell SnoBalls Instagram page.