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Bruster's Real Ice Cream, 2313 North Beltline Boulevard at Forest: (sort of) Winter 07   11 comments

Posted at 6:39 pm in restaurants

This one is not a "real" closing, but I thought it was kind of odd, so I'm going to note it.

I had noticed Bruster's Real Ice Cream in a few locations before ever stopping by, and it seemed to me that there was always a crowd standing around outside for some reason. When I finally did stop by, I found that the reason is that there is no "inside", at least for customers. All the business is done through walk-up windows, even though the buildings are plenty big enough to have counters inside. The ice cream is pretty good, but certainly not noticably better than Baskin Robbins, Ben & Jerry's, Coldstone or Marble Slab, all of which operations have counters and seats inside. I can't really think of why the chain would adopt such a concept, except to "be different". It's a concept I can see working well in resort areas, but it seems ill-suited to year-round markets. If you get a hankering for ice-cream in November, are you going to go somewhere warm, or stand outside Bruster's?

I noticed a month or two ago that the store on Beltline at Forest had been dark a while, and I stopped by to see what was going on. There were signs in the windows saying that they were closed for "renovations & training" and would be open again early in 2008. Well, it is now early in 2008, and they are still closed. Since it is a brand-new building, and I have seen no work trucks at the site, the renovations angle is puzzling, and I have to wonder what kind of training the staff at this store needed that isn't needed at their other locations, especially since it was a going operation. If I were to speculate, I would say that their business model just doesn't work in the winter at non foot traffic sites. But I would never do that.

UPDATE 27 March 08: Looks like the place is for sale, but for sale as a Bruster's franchise, not as just a building:

I wish him(?) luck, but those "loyal customers" the "for sale" sign references have had half a year to find other creameries..

UPDATE 31 March 09:

Well, they backed a truck up to the place and loaded all the equipment and took down the signs. That was in January I think and so far nothing has gone in there.

UPDATE 8 June 2010 -- Well, it's going to be a Hibachi Express "soon", though it seems like the "soon" sign has been up a month or so, and there doesn't look to have been any interior work done..

UPDATE 23 Dec 20-- Hibachi Express is open:

Written by ted on February 13th, 2008

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11 Responses to 'Bruster's Real Ice Cream, 2313 North Beltline Boulevard at Forest: (sort of) Winter 07'

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  1. pitty

    tibor

    26 Mar 08 at 5:49 am

  2. I watched them build it, then close it in the span of probably a few months. Dont they realize that no one believes the remodel thing when you just opened a few months earlier?

    geoff

    8 May 08 at 9:11 pm

  3. I remember when they opened in the summer of 2006 and ate there at least 2-3 times a month (even in the winter). I was sorry to see them close. I talked to someone at the other Bruster's who said this store will reopen under new ownership later this year - I hope so!

    Peter

    15 May 08 at 4:03 pm

  4. Good! Then we need Coldstone in Trenholm Plaza to get back on its feet too.

    ted

    15 May 08 at 5:58 pm

  5. Me again, still reading archives. One of my co-worker's friends owns the store, and he simply got tired of running it, and was/is trying to sell it to someone else. Not sure if he succeeded. I only went to Bruster's once, and the ice cream was grainy and flavorless.

    Matthew

    31 Oct 08 at 2:21 pm

  6. It remains closed, so I'm thinking it's still not sold. I don't recall being either wowed by or disappointed in the ice-cream itself.

    ted

    31 Oct 08 at 10:38 pm

  7. Bruster’s is gone for good. Walked by this evening and all the equipment has been moved out in the last few days.

    Thomas

    10 Jan 09 at 9:02 pm

  8. Well, that's a shame, but not a surprise at this point..

    Oh well.

    ted

    11 Jan 09 at 2:54 am

  9. FYI this location is now Hibachi Grill, and I thought it was delicious. Imagine if Egg Roll Station was Japanese rather than Chinese.

    Dennis

    28 Feb 11 at 9:33 pm

  10. We need Cold Stone!

    Steve

    14 Jul 12 at 7:01 pm

  11. Two in the Columbia area--one on Columbiana Drive behind the mall. Another in Lexington.

    Marble Slab is similar and they have locations in Columbia proper.

    Mike

    14 Jul 12 at 10:17 pm

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