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High-End Ice Cream Shop Rumored to Replace Safari Cup

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream is opening a scoop shop on Southport Avenue, sources say, replacing Safari Cup in the prime piece of real estate.

Those looking to snag top-notch ice cream treats in Chicago might not have to wait much longer, because high-end Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream is rumored to open on Southport.

The store would not only be the only scoop shop in Chicago, but in all of Illinois. Thus far, the popular ice cream company only has 12 storefronts in Ohio and Tennessee, but sells pints everywhere from Whole Foods to Southport Grocery & Café.

And Jeni’s isn’t just looking at any vacant storefront. According to the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce’s Southport Corridor Facebook page, it’s “out with Safari and in with Jeni’s.” Patch reported Safari Cup’s storefront at 3404 N. Southport Ave. was put on the retail rental market in early March, reportedly because Starbucks’ planned expansion next door.

While Jeni’s representatives say they have “no concrete plans to open a shop in Chicago,” area officials say that’s not what they heard.

“I have it on pretty good authority that they signed a lease but not confirmed by them or the broker,” Lakeview Chamber Director Heather Way told Patch in an email. “If what I heard is true, they are paying the highest rent on the street.  Read: they are going to have to sell a lot of ice cream, but at $12 a pint, they should be ok.”

And based on their website, the $12 price tag is true. Jeni’s sells exotic flavors like Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet and Brown Butter Almond Brittle starting at $12, with its Askinosie Dark Milk Chocolate going for $14 a pint.

That’s compared to the average $4 price tag ice cream lovers would pay for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at stores like Target.

The Columbus, Ohio-based ice cream company scooped up $9 million in revenue in 2011, reports SmartMoney.

"If we bought some cheap ice cream, we wouldn't have lines out the door," founder Jeni Britton Bauer told SmartMoney.

Jeni’s would join Anthony’s Homemade Italian Ice on Southport. Anthony’s also serves East Lake View staple Bobtail Ice Cream.

Dan April 03, 2013 at 02:28 PM
The constant typos in patch articles is making this site unreadable. How is this acceptable? "Thus far, the popular ice cream company only has 12 storefronts in Ohio and Tennessee, but sells pints every from Whole Foods"
Lakeview Watchdog April 03, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Ummm....Jeni's would also join on Southport a little place called Dairy Queen. The writer of this article hasn't lived here long enough to know this, but Southport was previously home to Coldstone Creamery, Double Rainbow, Bobtail and another in the same space pre-Bobtail. ALL failed. DQ is the last man standing and will still be there when Jeni's closes up shop in a year.
Justin April 03, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Is your comment necessary? Incredibly negative for no particular reason. DQ is hardly in the immediate vicinity and there is no mention of ice cream history on the street. If you think bobtail and jenni's is the same product that appeals to the same group that will inevitably determine it's success on Southport, you are crazy. It seems like you really just want to proclaim how long you have lived in the neighborhood and how that makes your opinion more valuable. Guess what? It doesn't.
Lakeview Watchdog April 03, 2013 at 05:51 PM
The market has now spoken multiple times over many years re: ice cream on Southport, Justin. That is not my opinion, but a simple fact. I guess my long-term residence here (and having watched certain types of businesses fail, time and again) means zero, though, eh? OK. If you want to spend $12 on a pint, knock yourself out, but it won't be there for too terribly long.

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