Chaps Ice Cream has been serving the Charlottesville community for decades

Chaps Ice Cream has been serving the Charlottesville community for decades
Chaps Ice Cream on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall. (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A restaurant on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall offering breakfast, coffee, and ice cream has lost business the last few months, but the owner is still serving up something special.

While the owner of Chaps Ice cream has not been serving up as many iced cold treats the past few months, he has continued serving goodwill to warm the soul.

“We take care of some of the folks out here on the mall, and, you know, I don’t see that changing," Tony LaBua said.

The shop has been in Charlottesville for decades.

“Back in 1985, my uncle owned Chaps across town and he wanted to retire and sell. He had it for 22 years before we came in and we’ve been here, oh my gosh, 35 years,” LaBua said.

LaBua said this is the rockiest road he has had to navigate as a business owner, but said he’s thinking about those who have it worse than him.

“I think this is tougher, especially for people who have just started a new business because they put all this money into this new business and if they don’t have a large backup of money, they’re going to be run out relatively fast,” LaBua said.

You may think an ice cream shop is only popular during the summer...but here’s a scoop...March and April are kickoff months.

“And we’ve lost two of them and we’re probably going to lose May, so it’s going to be a matter of playing catch up from here on out,” LaBua said.

While sanitation has always been important for the shop, the pandemic is upping its cleaning practices.

“Now it’s every single transaction, every single touch, we’re washing our hands and sanitizing ourselves, along with the store frequently all day long,” LaBua said.

LaBua hopes the reception from the public is equally as warm as Virginia enters phase 1 of reopening.

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