PORTAGE PARK — A Six Corners ice cream shop and cafe that’s been in the works for about a year is now open, offering nearly 20 flavors to Northwest Siders.
Lovin’ Scoop at 4032 N. Milwaukee Ave. opened Friday and sells ice cream cones, milkshakes, sundaes and espresso drinks. Co-owner Billy Taleb partnered with popular gourmet brand Capannari Ice Cream and Catering, a family-owned business based in Mount Prospect, Illinois.
The shop has 19 flavors with vegan and non-dairy options and a cozy sit-down space for children and parents by the window. A colorful butterfly mural by a local artist adorns the wall, and the owner said he hopes to bring in more local talent and get kids involved in decorating the space.
Taleb, who co-owns Mesa Urbana catering next door and the Lincoln Park restaurant of the same name, said he always dreamed of opening an ice cream shop where his daughter could work during the summer and that could offer a place for youth to develop a strong work ethic.
“I really want to have a summer job for her and her friends,” Taleb said, who lives in Arlington Heights. “I have a big family and I see these kids that sometimes get into trouble, so I was thinking, how can we bring these kids to get busy, make a little money and get to know them? This is the thing that inspires me.”
It also works out that he loves ice cream. When he lived in the city, he used to drive almost an hour one-way to Capannari because it was his favorite. A chance meeting with the ice cream shop owners a few years ago at Mesa Urbana sparked the partnership and the idea to bring the locally-made ice cream to Six Corners.
“I think the neighborhood really needs an ice cream place,” he said. “We have been getting a lot of people knocking on the door.”
The shop takes over Josi’s Frozen Yogurt Cafe, which was open for six years. The cafe closed in 2019 so its owners could pursue a career in social work. The space had been empty since then.
Capannari opened in 2001 and was named the “Best Ice Cream in Chicago” by Chicago Magazine a year after opening. With its brand recognition and numerous accolades, Taleb saw the partnership as a good fit for the community.
The cafe aims to serve pastries, hot chocolate and coffee starting in November as a way to stay in business during the winter months and offer another cafe in the business district.
The Taleb family also owns Province Pizza close by, which opened in January but temporarily closed in April because of staff shortages. While that business is paused, Billy Taleb wants to focus on the ice cream shop and take advantage of Chicago summer, he said.
Lovin’ Scoop is looking for other locally-owned or Midwestern ice cream businesses that are interested in selling their ice cream at the store, the owner said.
The shop is also looking for a store manager, preferably from the neighborhood, and teenagers interested in a part-time summer job. Those interested can reach out to Taleb with a resume at email@example.com.
Nina Kosinski, Six Corners Chamber of Commerce program manager who has helped Taleb open the shop, said she hopes the new business will bring more vitality to the business corridor and join other shops in being a permanent addition to the neighborhood.
“Lovin’ Scoop is going to create memories for many generations,” Kosinski said.
Lovin’ Scoop is open 3 -9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 3 -10 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
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