Ice cream shop closes location after staff ‘abused’ by customers over COVID rules

“People THIS IS ONLY ICE CREAM SO, NO PUN INTENDED, CHILL!”

Brickley's Ice Cream in Narragansett, Rhode Island
Brickley's Ice Cream in Narragansett, Rhode Island. –Blake Nissen/ For The Boston Globe

A Rhode Island ice cream store has closed one of its locations for the season after two men became angry that they couldn’t stay to enjoy their frozen treat, and “verbally abused” the staff.

Brickley’s Ice Cream has closed its Wakefield location in South Kingston due to the incident on Sunday. It will keep its Narragansett shop open, where there’s more room and more staff, the business said on Facebook.

The incident is just another in a line of negative occurrences at ice cream stores attempting to reopen for the season during the COVID-19 pandemic. When Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlor reopened on Cape Cod in May, one of the teenage workers quit due to comments from customers.

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At Brickley’s, the two men “argued with, swore at and verbal abused both our staff,” along with the staff of a neighboring business, according to a Facebook post.

“When another patron spoke up and intervened in an attempt to help, one of the men became threatening to the patron and things almost came to blows,” the post said. “This is unacceptable and is becoming unsafe for both our staff and customers. We have a limited and young staff at our Wakefield store and must keep them safe.”

Along with the Cape Cod incident, Herrell’s Ice Cream and Sweet Bakery in Northampton reported that someone called a staff member an a vulgar name after he was asked to wear a mask while inside the shop, according to a Facebook post on the Fourth of July. The week prior to that, the shop said a woman threw her ice cream, which she had paid for, at an ice cream scooper when asked to not eat inside the business.

“People THIS IS ONLY ICE CREAM SO, NO PUN INTENDED, CHILL!” the post said.


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