O Town Ice Cream scheduled to open downtown later this month
By Rebekah Martin
The pop-up cart that has the city screaming for ice cream will soon have a brick-and-mortar location in historic downtown Opelika. O Town Ice Cream owners Chris and Angela George plan to have the store open this month.
“The renovation still has to be approved … our health inspection has to come in and then we can start our system assembly training, hire a couple of people and train them, and then we will have a soft opening for friends so we can get some feedback,” Angela said. “We really don’t want to know what we’re doing right, we want to know what we’re doing wrong … then we will be ready to open.”
Angela said they’re looking forward to hiring their first employees soon. “We want to be that place that hires local high school kids who want to work in a cool place and then feel good about themselves because they have their own money.”
O Town Ice Cream is painted in pistachio greens, cherry reds and chrome accents. Angela said an old fashioned ice cream parlor feel was what they were going for when decorating the space. “When I think of ice cream, I automatically think of mint-chocolate chip ice cream. I think of pistachio ice cream,” she said. “The mint theme is as ice cream as you can get. The red was our cherry on top … the red just completes the look.”
The newest addition to the store, a peppermint stripped awning, ties in with the overall theme. “I wanted Opelika to have that old, candy shop ice cream feel, and I knew the awning would be a really important part of that,” Angela said.
Angela recruited the artistic help of her high school friend Beth Folta Bowman to paint an Opelika-themed mural on the wall of O Town Ice Cream. The mural, much like O Town Ice Cream’s unique flavors, will reflect iconic Opelika landmarks and people. The Lee County Courthouse and fountain, the Opelika “O” and the Salem-Shotwell bridge over Rocky Brook Creek are pictured and Angela said they still have a couple of surprises that will be included. “There’s nothing better than getting a local girl, who loves Opelika too, to come in and help with this. She’s expressing her artistic ability of the things that she loves about Opelika. It’s fun when we’re all here, we had a couple high school girls here, and we were talking about memories of going to the Lee County Fair together or walking the Victorian Front Porch Tour,” she said. “We hope that when people walk in, the mural starts a conversation for them.”
Once the store has opened its doors, O Town Ice Cream will also be a place people can come for a simple lunch and a sweet treat. Featured menu items will include a soup of the day, pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches and old fashioned glass bottle Coca-Colas.
“We want it to be very simple. We want it to be very consistent. We’re going for a less-is-more thing here. We want you to come in for the experience … a lot of people aren’t looking for a heavy lunch, so they can come here and get a pimento cheese sandwich, a bag of chips and a glass bottle coke,” Angela said.
O Town Ice Cream will be open every day except Sunday, but exact hours of operation are still being discussed. For more information on O Town Ice Cream’s progress, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.