Ice cream shop closes one day after reopening; it couldn’t handle the surge, patrons were too impatient


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A Massachusetts ice cream parlour that tried to reopen for Mother’s Day weekend this Friday faced a barrage of harassment and rude remarks, though not from the usual Karens.

One of my best workers quit yesterday at the end of her shift, she stuck it through her shift,” Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour owner Mark Lawrence said to Boston station WFXT.

But the words she was called and the language, you wouldn’t even say in a men’s locker room. And to say it to a 17-year-old kid, they should be ashamed of themselves.”

Why all the anger? Because customers ignored a note he’d posted online warning that all orders would need to be placed an hour in advance. And so a number of customers arrived at the shop too early after not having read the note and then harassed Lawrence’s employees over their orders not being ready.

“All of the sudden word spread like wildfire and nobody listened to what we told them how the protocol we had set up,” he explained. “People have forgotten how to treat other human beings in the six or seven weeks that they’ve been confined to their homes. They have no clue how to respect other human beings.”

Listen (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):

The harassment had nothing to do with the reopening.

He’d “been able to open his shop under [local] restaurant guidelines,” according to WFXT, but had chosen to wait until Mother’s Day for a grand reopening of sorts.

Nevertheless, because of what happened Friday, Lawrence initially chose to partially shut the store back down.

“We were overwhelmed, plain and simple. Regardless of people’s frustrations to take it out on a teenage girl is simply WRONG – it cost one of my best employees due to the rudeness directed at her tonight. So wrong in so many ways to treat a teenager with such disrespect no matter the circumstances,” he wrote in a Facebook post late Saturday.

“After a long hard look at the events of last night, it is obvious that the plan I created cannot handle the surge of demand out there,” he added in another post the following morning.

“So, in order to not destroy the business, I have grown for the past 19 years, it is best to not open to the General Public for the time being. Stay tuned as we explore options.”


As I turn the key in the lock tonight. My thought is that we shall simply not open to the general public until…

Posted by Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour on Friday, May 8, 2020

After a long hard look at the events of last night, it is obvious that the plan I created cannot handle the surge of…

Posted by Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour on Saturday, May 9, 2020

The post was inundated with comments from the store’s better-behaving customers.

“I was very impressed by how your staff stayed patient and kind,” one customer wrote. “You guys were doing everything you could and I do not blame you for not reopening. Know there are plenty here that will support you and accept your service however we can get it.”

Other commenters predicted the better-behaving customers would make certain Lawrence’s employees never face harassment again.

“Best wishes to you as you give this another shot. My guess is the normal, kind customers will NOT allow this to happen again and I hope those who did this are really embarrassed. Hugs from Minnesota,” one wrote.

Some comments poured in on Twitter as well:

As of Sunday morning, there was some good news to report.

“Today was a vastly improved operation,” Lawrence announced in a post published late Saturday evening. “People placed their orders an hour or more (some, a day before) prior to their pick up time. They followed the rules and it worked.”

“There were minimal people just pulling up and expecting to be served immediately, they chose to place an order and return or sit and wait. As one customer said, ‘I can sit here in my car, or sit home and watch TV.'”

View the post below:

24 hours later and we make the Boston news. Today was a vastly improved operation. People placed their orders an hour…

Posted by Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour on Saturday, May 9, 2020

“We will continue to tweak our efforts and eventually try again to open full speed ahead,” he continued. “Thank you for the incredible outpouring of love and support from so many. It truly means so much to me at this time.”


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