Goodbye, Dog House; Hello, Scoops R Us in Ottawa

New hard ice cream shop moves in next to Tones Cones

Leslie Shanley (front, second from left), owner of Tomes Cones, has announced the July 6 opening of Scoops R Us, a hard ice cream shop next to Tones Cones. With her are her employees Selena Gomez, Madison Brue and Addyson Campagna; (back) Peyton Bryson, Gabby Panepinto, Megan Baumgartner and Brandon Wilson.

It’s been said that one can never have too much of a good thing, and that will be put to the test by the newest confectionary to grace Ottawa.

The ownership of Tones Cones, for years a staple of ice cream and sweet treats, will be giving residents more of what they crave by establishing Scoops R Us, a new hard-scooped ice cream dispensary set up in the location formerly occupied by Tones Cones’ fast-food sandwich partner, the Dog House.

The new shop opens at noon Saturday, July 6, and will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Mondays through Sundays. There’s been no word about whether there will be a grand opening, but plans still are in the works, owner Leslie Shanley said.

She said the new shop will feature 32 flavors of hard ice cream individually scooped into sundaes and floats or onto cones, waffle cones and cups. Families or groups having difficulty deciding on flavors to choose can opt for “flights,” a plastic tray of four, six, eight or 12 small, single scoops of the flavors they pick.

The new shop also will feature sugar-free and dairy-free options among those flavors, items one won’t find at Tones. Shanley said flurries and shakes could be added later if the clientele demands them, but for now, it’s good, old-fashioned ice cream, sherbets and sorbets, all with an assortment of toppings available.

“This is something we’ve been considering since we closed the Dog House for the winter like we normally do in October,” Shanley said. “There’s been a lot of mystery, a lot of questions about what we were going to do, but all along I had something else in mind. I didn’t like the fast-food business. It’s a lot of hard work in so many different ways. No matter how busy you were, there was always a lot of cleanup … so I just felt we needed something different.

“Everyone was sad the Dog House has closed, and it may come back one day – you never know – but I think this will be a better fit for me and my workers.”

The Scoops R Us staff, all of whom have been with Shanley through the Dog House years, didn’t believe Shanley when she first told them there wouldn’t be sandwiches and instead would be another ice cream shop. However, now they all seem thrilled by the change.

“We’ll miss the food, but we won’t miss the work,” employee Brandon Wilson said. “It’s been a journey.”

Tones Cones is known for having a line of cars at its drive-thru for virtually every hour it’s open on warm summer nights, and Scoops R Us may have the same, but Shanley said she feels people wanting hard-served ice cream “want to see it,” and that will create more walk-in business.

Two long freezer sections dominate the shop, which also has a few small tables. There’s also a subtle reminder of the business’s history in the form of colorful ceramic hot dogs decorating the walls.

The businesses do not accept credit cards; guests can pay by cash only.

“Now we’ve got all the bases covered – soft-serve, hard-serve,” Shanley said, “and we’re excited about it.”

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