Offering 30 percent off an everything-must-go-before-it-melts inventory, Cold Stone Creamery, 4709 N. Lincoln Ave., scooped its last waffle cone on Sunday, joining the recently departed Hanger 18, Sprout and LM Restaurant in that great small business graveyard in the sky. Apparently not enough of us liked it, loved it, or had to have it.
Once the lone frozen treat purveyor in Lincoln Square, Cold Stone found itself staving off a pair of scrappy newcomers the past two years. First came Paciugo, peddling its brand of “healthier” gelato in Giddings Plaza, and then Yogurt Square, with its crowd pleasing self-serve model and popular outdoor patio.
“I probably wouldn’t have come today if I hadn’t seen it was closing,” said Manda Philip, who was enjoying a final serving of Oreo Overload. “I do go to Paciugo and I did the yogurt thing once. But gelato and ice cream are not the same thing.”
Scott and Vicky Barsky of Northcenter had spent the day with their two young children in Welles Park and were debating among ice cream, gelato or fro yo when Cold Stone’s sale sign carried the day. “We noticed it was 30 percent off,” said Scott, as he spooned a helping of Blueberry Cake Batter.
While not mourning the loss of Cold Stone per se — a new frozen yogurt shop is set to open on Lincoln Avenue just south of Irving Park Road — the Barskys were troubled by yet another vacant storefront in the neighborhood. “It worries me when anything closes,” said Vicky. “I hate to see anything fail.”
On the good news front, we did notice a couple of “coming soon” signs in the Square: one for an accessories boutique and another for a vintage home furnishings shop. And let’s not forget Le Cafe, which slowly seems to be inching toward serving something. May we suggest ice cream.