All Scooped Up: Cold Stone Creamery Closes Its Doors

By Patty Wetli | Monday, August 20, 2012

Farewell Cold Stone Creamery. Credit: Patty Wetli

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.

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  • http://spudart.org/ spudart

    I remember the days when there used to be a closed air conditioning repair shop in that space.

    • http://profiles.google.com/abutzen Anne Butzen

      Me too. It shows how long I’ve been in the neighborhood.

      I went to Coldstone Creamery once, shortly after it opened, and was disappointed – the ice cream was expensive and not good at all. The new frogurt place is a lot better.

  • jkarczek

    Funny that I don’t recall seeing anything about LM closing in CSJ. While LM was hit or miss in my visits there, I think its loss is more newsworthy given the relative lack of restaurants that offer something approaching fine dining in the area. There are only a few, maybe a half dozen if one looks all the way over to Andersonville, yet how many businesses serve frozen desserts?

    As far as Coldstone, I somewhat echo the sentiment from the article in that I almost never think a business closing is a ‘good’ thing, even it’s one I don’t patronize. That said, Coldstone was never exceptional, or even good. It’s rapid shuttering in the face of competent competitors proves it. Hopefully something better, more useful will find its way into that space.

    • jae1

      LM didn’t really close. They moved to 111 W Huron. All I can think is they assessed their clientele, and felt the new location was a better fit for either their current or desired guests.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.doane Robert Doane

    Their service always lacked, it was always an ordeal to get a cone. I was glad to see the other treat shops open up. It is good to see when you under perform you get overtaken.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Audrey-Smilgys/1008434409 Audrey Smilgys

    I don’t mind this closing. I’d rather have an independent, non-franchised business open in the space.

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