Health department forces Broad Ripple ice cream shop to close

The Marion County Health Department has shut down the Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop in Broad Ripple because its air conditioner is broken, and the store’s owner said he has no plans to reopen the shop.

On July 14, the health department ordered the Baskin-Robbins at 2201 Broad Ripple Ave. to close immediately. According to an inspection report from that day, an investigator said that the lack of air conditioning had caused the store’s freezers to malfunction, the store’s interior temperature to rise to 95 degrees and the ice cream to melt.

The report also noted several other violations, including ice cream being stored on the floor of the walk-in freezer, ice build-up melting onto open ice cream containers in the display freezers, and green fluid from the air conditioner leaking from the ceiling onto a plastic sheet hung above the display freezers.

The store’s franchisee, Bob Holocher, said he’s had ongoing problems with the air conditioning and has been in a dispute with the building’s owner over who should pay for the repairs. Holocher said the temperature inside the store had recently been as high as 90 degrees because of the lack of air conditioning.

The building, a small retail center with several other tenants, is owned by Hurwitz Enterprises, a commercial real estate firm in Springfield, Illinois.

Hurwitz Enterprises’ managing broker, Joe Hurwitz, said the store has two air-conditioning units. One was supplied by him as the landlord, and one was supplied by the space’s previous Baskin-Robbins franchisee. It’s not uncommon for a food-service tenant to install an additional unit at its own expense, Hurwitz said, because restaurant equipment throws off a lot of heat.

Hurwitz said it was the tenant-installed air conditioning unit that malfunctioned, and therefore its failure is the tenant’s responsibility. “The unit that went bad, as a landlord I have absolutely nothing to do with it.”

Holocher said he and his wife, Jane, had intended to close the Broad Ripple store Aug. 8 because of the problems. But a customer complaint prompted the health inspection that forced the shop to close last week.

Holocher, who is 81 and a retired air traffic controller, said he doesn’t intend to reopen that location. In addition to the air conditioning problems, he said he’s also struggled to find enough good employees in recent months.

“I said, ‘Heck with it.’ We’re not even going to try to open back up,” Holocher told IBJ. “It’s time to move on.”

The Holochers also own the Baskin-Robbins at 1280 U.S. 31 in Greenwood. That store is operating smoothly and will remain open, Holocher said.

Baskin-Robbins was founded in 1945 in Glendale, California, and is headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts. It is considered to be the world’s largest ice cream chain, with more than 8,000 locations, including more than three dozen stores in Indiana.

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19 thoughts on “Health department forces Broad Ripple ice cream shop to close

  1. I was probably one of the last customers, I did not call and complain – but I am glad someone did. THe stoire was unbearable to visit and the poor girl working there was beyond hot and miserable! I could see she was in major discomfort and it was hotter in the store than OUTSIDE! SO no wonder the ice cream was melting!

    1. The owner is out of touch. He is complaining about not being able to find good employees, but who in the world would work in a 95 degree building unless they’re desperate?

  2. Well Chris’ Ice Cream in Nora should be shut down also. Not clean, poor service, selling all kinds of “alternate” items out of that place. Has been very sketchy for years – just look at the folks going in and out. Horrible.

    1. Alternate items…. like really good tacos? Because that’s the only alternate item I’ve ever gotten there.

    2. What are you talking about? They have turned into one of the best Mexican restaurants in Indy with very high ratings. You can also see the kitchen from the dining room, and I’ve never noticed any major cleanliness problems in the kitchen.

  3. Well Chris’ Ice Cream in Nora should be shut down also. Not clean, poor service, selling all kinds of “alternate” items out of that place. Has been very sketchy for years – just look at the folks going in and out. Horrible.

  4. Yes, change the headline. This store is actually in the Glendale neighborhood. The boundary line between Broad Ripple and Glendale is Evanston Ave. This would help with the confusion of Broad Ripple Ice Cream stores!

    1. who says Evanston is the dividing line for Broad Ripple? Realtor here – and this terminology gets looser every year. SOBRO used to stop at Kessler, then 56th, then 54th and so on. Would love to know who is in charge of these territories and boundaries.

  5. Those complaining about it being a click-bait headline with potential ties to BRICS needs to re-read the headline. The only thing capitalized is Broad Ripple. Ice cream shop is all lower-case, leading an intelligent and good contextual reader to not assume BRICS, but an ice cream shop in Broad Ripple. Calm down people.

  6. Another case of a small business lease not being clear about what equipment and fixtures are to be provided and maintained by the landlord as part of the rent, and what equipment the tenant is allowed to add at his own expense and cost to maintain. The days of a verbal agreement sealed with a handshake are long gone. As the real estate maxim says, if it ain’t in writing it ain’t real.”

    1. As the article states “the tenant installed” unit went down, not the landlord installed unit. So, if the additional “tenant installed” unit was part of the tenants equipment, why should the landlord be responsible for it? If the walk in freezer, also a tenant installed equipment, went down, do you expect a landlord to fix that too? Tenant installed equipment is tenant responsibility to maintain.

    2. The landlord can, in the lease, specify what kind of equipment can be installed, insist that the proper permits and inspection be obtained, and specify that an tenant-installed fixture that fails cannot be used to terminate the lease. I doubt any of these conditions were written into the lease, causing loss of income to the property’s owner and likely leaving it to the owner pay for the removal and disposal of the malfunctioned equipment.

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