116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The Scoop Coop at 302 Third Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids will offer 12 flavors of hand-scooped ice cream from Iowa made brands like Le Mars-based Blue Bunny and Ely-based Dan and Debbie’s Creamery, in addition to some house-made flavors. It’s set to open within the next several weeks, just in time for warm weather.
With a few bar stools available at the counter, a big feature of the new ice cream place will be the large outdoor patio it shares with LP Street Food.
The family friendly ice cream shop also will offer a variety of alcoholic beverages in the form of boozy floats — not blended ice cream cocktails — with six ongoing suggestions such as a Grasshopper or a Pink Squirrel that allow customers to “choose their own adventure,” said owner Justin Zehr.
“The point of it is not just to serve ice cream, but to expedite the experience for customers with a patio we built out last year,” he said. “You can just come up to the window and order a drink.”
The newly renovated area was formerly a Dairy Queen and more recently served as a salon. The outdoor facing service window will be particularly convenient for bicyclists, Zehr said.
Plans to open the venture last fall were delayed by the pandemic and derecho.
The Hip-stir in Marion
The Hip-stir, a unique concept planned for carryout and outdoor dining this summer, will soon open on 1120 Seventh Ave. in Marion, in the space that was previously Ramsey’s Wine Bistro.
“The goal is to just have nothing over the top, just fresh, good-quality food, the food we’re all proud to do and the food we want to eat,” Zehr said.
With the building still undergoing renovation, Zehr said the goal is to open first for outdoor dining and carryout while renovating the inside for a later fall or winter opening.
The owner said the food will be “fresh and unique,” but “not pretentious.”
“Nothing intimidating. Fun, creative cuisine,” he said, noting that the menu will evolve after opening to let customer demand dictate the eventual full menu.
Tim Oathout, former general manager and head chef at Zeppelins, has played a big hand in designing the new restaurant’s menu.
With an eclectic feel and plenty of selections outside of the cultural mainstream, Oathout said diners can look forward to less conventional dishes like shaved fried bologna sandwiches, smoked chicken miso udon, sweet potato tacos and bone-in pork belly ribs.
He said Hip-stir also will offer charcuterie and house-made fermented products like kimchi and sauerkraut.
And with “stir” in the name, Zehr said diners could count on some cool cocktails, too.
“We want to try to give people something a little different,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re rounding out that neighborhood and not congesting it with the same (type of food.)”
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