A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to stumble across a small popsicle stand tucked away in the back corner of the River Market Hall. This was before the days of proper local frozen treats like Loblolly. What I found was a unique approach using fresh ingredients sourced locally when possible. This started my love of Le Pops.
Le Pops flavors change throughout the year depending on seasonal availability. They range from the normal fruits such as strawberry, to the interesting combinations like jalapeño pineapple, all the way to unique flavors with fresh herbs like basil lemon and cilantro pineapple.
Le Pops seemed to be thriving, showing up at baseball games and some of our favorite places like HAM. So it came as a bit of a surprised when they announced in December that they were closing the River Market location. Yes they said they would seek another location, but it seems rare to see a place close up with no clear next step. It seemed a favorite summer treat was in jeopardy.
It did not take long. In May Le Pops announced a new store in the Heights and on the 14th opened the new location at 5501 Kavanaugh, next to Eggshell’s Kitchen.
“The River Market spot was always a bit of a business incubator for us,” Owner Laurie Harrison tells us. “We were able to refine the concept and prove that there was a market for premium popsicles.”
Last night we snuck out during the storm to check out the new place, and it is as good as ever. If you ate at the River Market location things will be familiar with the addition of 3 chocolate dipped varieties (up from just one in the River Market) along with new sugar cone wraps and a few crunchy coating options.
The space inside is dimly lit, mostly from their green neon sign, and industrial feeling with seating for about 12 inside. The no-frills approach puts the emphasis on the popsicles which are carefully decorated with the fresh ingredients that go into them.
The new location should benefit from the recent culinary rejuvenation of the Heights and easily steal customers away from the franchised yogurt shop Red Mango just a block down the road. It is an exciting addition for the Heights, who seems to be upping the competition against neighboring Hillcrest for the best food in the city.
Stop in at Le Pops sometime and tell us what you think in the comments.