The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Here’s the Scoop: Lincoln Park ice cream shop back open for business

Grace Logan
DePaul sophomore Greta Atilano helps a young Pretty Cool Ice Cream customer pick out an ice cream flavor on Friday, April 19, 2024. “It’s the perfect job for a college student,” Atilano said. “I started working here my freshman year. I always try to work for small businesses [and] putting back into the community. Of course, interacting with kids is a lot of fun too.”

Alex Perez stopped into the reopening Pretty Cool Ice Cream Shop, to get a vanilla bean ice cream bar coated in chocolate to try and beat the recent spring heat in Lincoln Park. In the shop, Perez was greeted with a warm smile from workers and the sweet smell of ice cream. Pretty Cool Ice Cream is located near the corner of Lincoln and Belden avenues and reopened for the spring and summer seasons.

When customers arrive at the shop, they are greeted by welcoming employees and a beautiful mural of ice cream on the left inside wall. The walls are decorated with warm tones, making customers feel at home as they look through the glass to pick a treat to enjoy on the tree-lined street outside. 

DePaul freshman Rory Lorenz works on homework while waiting for the after-dinner crowd of customers at Pretty Cool Ice Cream on Thursday, April 18, 2024. “It’s a community-based place since this is tucked away, not on the main street,” Lorenz said. “People have told me where they live and how close they live. They love coming here.” (Grace Logan)

This is the shop’s second location, with the first location opening in 2018 in Logan Square. The Lincoln Park shop is located at 709 W Belden Ave. The ice cream is also sold in some restaurants and pints are sold in some boutique grocery stores.

Award-winning pastry chef Dana Cree started the brand and it specializes in ice cream bars that you would get straight out of an ice cream truck. Cree is from Seattle but came to Chicago to work at the Michelin-star restaurant Blackbird. Cree is also the author of the book “Hello, My Name is Ice Cream: The Art and Science of the Scoop: A Cookbook,” which has more than one hundred ice cream recipes and stories about flavors and teaches the science of ice cream.

“It’s the book I wanted to find when I started asking questions about why ice cream works or how to make ice cream,” Cree said. “You can make your first scope out of it by just following a recipe, or you can study the science and use the math to invent your own flavors.”

Ice cream bars are not the only thing available at the shop. You can stop by and get an ice cream sandwich, ice pops and vegan pops-all of which are dipped and decorated with colorful sprinkles. 

“Providing a non-dairy flavor was always top priority because what we want is to have something for everyone,” Cree said. “We’re a completely gluten-free company and then we make a lot of non-dairy flavors and we have two styles of non-dairy, we have an ice pop and then we have the creamy plant pops.”

 Junior Alex Perez, who declared the ice cream is “really good,” is excited for the shop to reopen.

DePaul sophomore Greta Atilano and Loyola sophomore Daniel Jaen discuss ice cream restocking and other closing responsibilities before Atilano clocks out and Jaen is left to close Pretty Cool Ice Cream on Friday, April 19, 2024. “It’s awesome (working here),” Jaen said. “It’s great. The neighborhood is great. We get a lot of foot traffic. People are always so nice and get excited about the new flavors. It’s just fun to be here.” (Grace Logan)

 “It’s just a really nice place to visit and get some ice cream with some friends when it’s hot outside,” Perez said. “Plus, it being such a short walk from campus is really nice too.”

Since reopening, worker Chrisel Louise said there has been a steady flow of business, especially on the weekends, which she anticipated.

 “You do see a lot of families, a lot of students too,” Louise said. “A lot of people going on dates and stuff, so I think there is a good range of people coming in.”

The shop added some new flavors and items to their menu this season. They now have a new caramel toffee brownie ice cream sandwich, cookies and cream popsicle and more flavors coming later in the season.

“I think the number one thing is a lot of us are DePaul students, a lot of the kids who work here,” Louise said, adding that, because of that, they’re often able to offer fellow DePaul students a discount.

The Lincoln Park location also has a walk-up window for those who are in a rush but want a quick and cold treat to cool down on a hot and humid Chicago summer day. The store closes again in January. You can stop by the Lincoln Park store Wednesday-Sunday from 12-9 p.m. and the Logan Square location Monday-Sunday from 12-9 p.m.

“Ice cream doesn’t appeal to a single demographic,” Cree said. “Everybody eats ice cream.”

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