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Lincoln Park, Old Town

Pretty Cool Ice Cream Delays Lincoln Park Opening Until Spring While Store Waits For Permits

The frozen desserts spot announced its grand opening is being pushed back because the store still hasn't received necessary permits from the city.

Pretty Cool Ice Cream
Pretty Cool Ice Cream will open its Lincoln Park shop as soon as its permits are approved.
Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago
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LINCOLN PARK — Pretty Cool Ice Cream’s Lincoln Park store opening has been put on ice while the frozen desserts spot waits for an operating license.

Pretty Cool Ice Cream announced on Instagram Wednesday its Lincoln Park store, 709 W. Belden Ave., won’t launch until at least spring due to “unforeseen delays and setbacks.”

Founder Dana Salls Cree previously told Block Club the store was ready to open as soon as its permits are approved, but the owners are still waiting for those to clear. They said they they’ll have the needed permits in time for spring, when temperatures will rise again.

“We keep reminding ourselves this is a long-term relationship with Lincoln Park, and, after years of sharing ice cream with this part of Chicago, these tumultuous first few months will seem like a blip on the radar,” the shop owners wrote on Instagram.

Pretty Cool focuses on serving ice cream in non-traditional ways, such as on a stick, Salls Cree said. Customers can grab ice cream bars, fruit buttermilk bars, plant-milk-based bars and popsicles.

Ice cream sandwiches are also being rolled out at the Logan Square store.

“All the ice cream is made, the staff is hired and trained and they all have their uniforms. We’re ready to show up,” Salls Cree previously said.

Credit: Mina Bloom/Block Club Chicago
Pretty Cool Ice Cream opens Friday in the former U.S. Post Office annex at 2353 N. California Ave.

The new shop is modeled after the business’s first location in Logan Square, except the exterior is painted peach instead of pink. The shop features stadium-style seating and lighting, but the store will only be doing walk-up window service due to the pandemic.

“So many of our guests are kids, and the place is so small and built to be a magnet for kids to touch, feel, explore and climb,” Salls Cree said.

Salls Cree said she was “thrilled” for her business to expand into Lincoln Park and she chose the location because it’s in an area where communities converge.

“It’s where DePaul meets all the family homes and meets the part of the neighborhood where people rent studios and one-bedroom apartments,” Salls Cree said. “It’s a mix of demographics, which we really like.”

Salls Cree said she’s most looking forward to the memories that will be made in the shop.

“We want to be with the community when they’re making some of their simplest memories, like celebrating after a game,” Salls Cree said. “And with DePaul right there, we’ll have college kids making so many indelible memories for their life, whether it’s getting ice cream for a party or celebrating good grades or going on first dates.

“We want this to be a place you remember going to back when you were a kid.”

Credit: Mina Bloom/Block Club Chicago
The inside of the ice cream shop.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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