Ocala ice cream shop shuts down

Feb. 19, 2012 at 3:19 PM

OCALA, Fla., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- An Ocala, Fla., ice cream shop that was once famous because its mascot resembled a KKK member has closed its doors, officials said.

The Ice Cream Family Corner & Sandwiches shop never reopened after it was closed for repairs in December, the Ocala Star Banner reported Friday.

Co-operators Jose Cantres and Jesus Diaz left a hand-written note on the door just before Christmas that stated the shop would be closed for roof repairs.

"The roof repair was a pretty minor thing," Robert Wilson, attorney for property owner Sumo Central Florida LLC, said Friday. "The landlord put a new roof on that building back in August."

The shop made national news in September when passersby thought the shop's mascot, a man hired to wear an ice cream cone suit with a pointed top, was a Ku Klux Klan member, the newspaper said.

However, the media attention failed to generate local patrons.

Wilson said Cantres and Diaz hadn't paid rent since October and that the building had been vacant in December and January, which "constitutes abandonment of the lease under any analysis."

"I don't know what happened to them," Wilson said. "I guess it's a tough business."

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