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Ice Cream Chronicles (Yr. 4): All Aboard the SS Rotterdam

Earlier this year, I wrote about Clown Cones & Confections, a place in the Linden area that's been plying its trade for four decades. While that area in general is hardly a tourist magnet, it most certainly is a neighborhood magnet, a place that folks who grew up there probably frequently visited and have fond memories about.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the eatery in the very early steps of establishing themselves. Most folks know that the restaurant business is a tough thing to break into, and that all manner of places (innovative, mediocre, just plain awful, etc.) fall by the wayside. Out of that group, there are places and people you root for more than most, and such are the folks behind the very freshly minted Double Happy in the southwest part of the metro.

Some local residents may remember this stand under its former banner of the Starburst Dairy Bar, with graffiti-styled graphics depicting their Coneys, burgers, and soft-serve ice cream treats. I've come to learn Ohio is filled with places like these, such as Pataskala's beloved Dairy Hut.

The newly-packaged stand, opened just two months now, is a simpler affair. A friendly emoji-style logo greets you on the shiny new sign on the side of Brown Road. A closer look reveals that same logo duplicated on the side of the stand itself and a paper menu touting various soft-serve creations, milkshakes and coffee drinks posted by the walk-up window (a drive-thru window is also available.)

I got to talking with co-owner Ryan, who was about as friendly a person as you can get as I placed my order.  He stated that they're still working on finalizing things like the final menu (he plans on adding more from-scratch add-ins and toppings), regular operating hours (current hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays 12 noon - 8 PM) and putting out a social media presence of some sort. When I asked about their iced coffee (most of their beans are sourced from local roaster Stauf's), he offered up the option of coconut milk, a pleasant surprise indeed.

One thing that grabs your attention placing an order at the walk-up window is the "SS Rotterdam graphic" above the milkshake mixing machine. Ryan noted that his business partner/wife is from The Netherlands and that he had fallen in love with the country during visits with his wife, especially the city of Rotterdam.

Conveniently, the property where the ice cream stand resides has a nice grassy area with bench seating and a gazebo off to the side to devour your sweet treat should you choose. My banana split sundae isn't gourmet by any means, but it was well-constructed, satisfying, and a perfect antidote for the hot and humid weather on tap this day.

As I left, a family of four who I assumed lived in the surrounding neighborhood came rolling up by foot to place an order. It's very early in the process of course, but I'm not-so-secretly hoping that Double Happy will firm up its business well enough to become that new neighborhood gathering place, where both locals and passers-by get a chance to go Dutch for a little bit.

Double Happy Ice Cream
1280 Brown Road (South Hilltop/Greenleaf - Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43223

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