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.