There’s snow place like home

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Tropical Sno Cone stand Where: 2199 East Dove Road, Southlake Hours: 1-9:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday Price: Cones start at $2

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It was shaping up to be a summer without snow.

Tropical Sno, the city’s lone snow cone stand and a popular gathering spot for residents, was in danger of losing its permit to re-open at the popular Southlake spot where it’s been for nine years.

Owner Jeff Day learned that his business had been put on ice when he attempted to renew a three-year permit in February. Day’s request was denied because his business lacked restrooms for employees and customers.

In previous years, his employees – mostly high-school students in their first jobs – used a restroom in a nearby office building. When the office closed last year, the snow cone stand was in violation of a city ordinance requiring a business to have a restroom within 500 feet of its location.

But a groundswell of support from fans and neighbors and a compromise with the city lead to a unanimous vote by City Council to issue Tropical Sno a specific use permit to reopen. Under the new agreement, Day had to remove permanent chairs and tables and add a portable toilet for employees.

Mayor John Terrell spoke in support of the special use permit at the meeting.

“According to my children, and all my children’s friends . . . I will be voting for this,” he joked before casting his vote in favor of the stand.

Claire Gwin, 11, and Grace Stewart, 10, of Grapevine came to the June 18 meeting with a homemade sign reading: SAY ‘YES’ TO Sno cones!

Gwin said when it gets hot, there’s nothing better than a snow cone.

Karen Gwin said her daughter has been asking when the stand would open since February.

Paul Ward, Southlake’s chief building official, said the city began working with Day in early May even before citizens started calling to voice their support.

Mike Smith and his wife Dana of Grapevine created a Save the Southlake Tropical Sno Facebook page, which had 445 likes as of last week. Smith said he has received messages and posts from people sharing stories about what the place has meant to them.

“It is just a place to go and enjoy being outside while enjoying a cool treat during a very hot time of year,” Smith said.

Grace Stewart’s mom, Amy Stewart, said the stand has been a part of their lives for many years. Steward said the family enjoys finishing dinner and visiting the stand two or three times a week, even picking up a few kids along the way.

Day and his wife, Becky opened the stand, located at 2199 East Dove Road, June 23 and broke their record for the most snow cones sold in a day.

“Everybody that has been supporting us showed up for a snow cone,” said Becky Day, who runs the day-to-day operations. “From the minute we opened to the minute we closed that [ice] shaver did not stop one time. It kept shaving non-stop.”

Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli

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