New owners of the Atwood Avenue Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co. shop locked the company out on Wednesday, forcing the store's closure for the season.
The new owner of the building barred the store's entry without any notice or warning, according to a statement from Dave Deadman, CEO of Chocolate Shoppe. Their signature ice cream was still in the building, he said.
“Due to the hostility in this new relationship, we’ve been forced to close our Atwood location for the remainder of the 2019 season,” Deadwood said to Cap Times. “We obviously are now entering a legal phase. They changed the locks. All our equipment, the cash receipts from yesterday are still in the building.”
The new owner of the building — who plans on opening a new ice cream store at the site — claims the Chocolate Shoppe is holding his company to a poorly written, unenforceable lease.
Deadman stated the store’s lease allowed him to rent year-by-year, with no set end date, for $600 a month. He paid an extra amount to the city, around $125 a month, to use the outdoor patio.
Many locals know the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co. — it has been in Madison since 1962. The Atwood location opened just over six years ago. The site usually closes in mid- to late October, depending on the weather.