Little Rock’s own Loblolly has new digs on South Main just in time for summer. June will serve as a month-long soft opening, with a grand opening date to be announced for early July. Hours are currently 11am-6pm. As for where to find this airy space, it’s conveniently located directly next door to the Green Corner Store, where Loblolly started out five years ago.
Improvements are substantial. The Loblolly Scoop Shop offers more seating, along with plenty of access to electric outlets for customers to charge their devices. More importantly, the shop has a significantly expanded dipping cabinet, allowing for twenty-four flavors instead of the previous limit of eight. Their signature flavors, including Buttermilk, Little Rocky Road, Double Vanilla, Salted Caramel, and Milk Chocolate, will always be available, as will a selection of sorbet and sherbet. The third dipping cabinet will offer a rotating seasonal selection.
Loblolly Scoop Shop also has a cooler of pints available for purchase, along with macaroons, cookies, and brownies. Coming soon are coffee and espresso drinks. While boozy milkshakes are not on the immediate horizon, Sally Mengel, owner, says they are planning for that eventuality.
The preview menu highlights all the basics—scoops, milkshakes, and sundaes—and notably includes tax in all pricing. Also included on the menu is the famous ice cream flight: eight scoops of your choice, and best shared with a friend or two. While visiting during what was called a “sneak peak,” I branched out of my usual brownie sundae and tried a scoop of Cucumber Mint Mojito, a crisp, refreshing sorbet that left me with a clean palate. Also new to me were Figs & Honey and Lemon Blueberry.
Overall, the space is light, bright, and cleanly decorated. Subtle ice cream references scattered throughout the shop offer on-going amusement that kids and adults alike will appreciate.
The Loblolly recipe developers have a real talent for coming up with both innovative flavors and variations on the classics, and the comfortable new space allows even more opportunity to share the joy of ice cream with Little Rock. If you’ve managed to miss Loblolly for the last five years, it’s time to go in and get scoop of joy. And, if you’re a long-time regular, be ready for more of what you already love.