Sky Full of Bacon

Scooter’s Scoop! Custard Wars!

For a place that ought to be beloved by all for its mission of bringing custardy smiles to kids and everyone in Roscoe Village and west Lakeview, Scooter’s sure seems to encounter a lot of resistance.  First it was the controversy over chairs on the sidewalk outside Scooter’s, which led to various forms of aldermanic activity (no, the flavor of the day was not foie gras).  But what nobody has known till now is that when Scooter’s closed for the winter last Friday, it came very close to not reopening next year in its same Belmont and Paulina location— or at all.

According to Sky Full of Bacon’s sources, in part because of the controversy over sidewalk seating, the developer of the building initially decided not to renew Scooter’s lease.  (Because what this neighborhood needs is another Cricket store, no doubt.)  But the Scooter’s folks wanted to stay, feeling a bond with the neighborhood that, say, the Walgreen’s across the street or the Quizno’s that closed on Lincoln never had.  Negotiations grew tense.

Actually, what happened at that point is that some workmen working on the upper floors filled the parking lot in back, where the owners pay for a space, with their trucks, and when one of Scooter’s owners wanted to get her car out, they refused.  She started taking pictures of license plates— and then one of the workmen smacked her in the face.

To his credit, the supervisor on the job immediately recognized that with that act, his side had just lost The Great Roscoe Village Custard War of 2009, and called a truce.  Trucks were moved and the assaulting workman went off with the police.  Shortly thereafter, realizing that you don’t pick fights with someone who buys hot fudge by the barrel, and make an enemy of every five-year-old and his mom in the neighborhood, the developer reached an agreement with Scooter’s, and they will indeed reopen next March.

But eternal vigilance is the price of turtle sundaes, I guess— especially when it comes to NIMBY neighbors who think the brightest spot of joy in a neighborhood is detracting from, rather than immeasurably adding to, their quality of life and the value of their property.

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