Tropics Ice Cream & Jerk: “We Are Temporarily Closed for Refurbishing”

The mysterious closure of Tropics Ice Cream & Jerk has been solved, as the shop’s window now displays a sign reading, “We are temporarily closed for refurbishing.”

As we reported on Tuesday, several readers reached out to us regarding the seemingly sudden closure of the beloved ice cream shop at 9324 Georgia Ave.:

“I went there yesterday afternoon around 3:00 p.m. and the door was locked and the lights off,” reader Gary K. said. “A friend said that she’d been there a couple of times recently with the same result. The phone number listed 301-589-2138 does not answer, even with voicemail or an answering machine, but the line is not disconnected by the phone company. There is no sign posted in the window explaining. It is a much loved ice cream place, since it uses tropical fruit flavoring for many of its ice creams.”

The shop was originally opened as Islands Tropical Cafe by York Castle Ice Cream owner Cal Headley, who sold it to distant cousin Pierre Stone, according to MoCo360. After being rejected for a Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loan in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Stone’s niece Kayla launched a GoFundMe campaign to save the shop, which went viral on social media and triggered an outpour of local support, yielding nearly $33,000 in donations within 48 hours. Local businesses reached out to offer help, including Amber Chaney of Rockville-based Chaney Communications, who hosted a socially distanced ice cream social in 2020 with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-District 8).

Kayla assumed ownership of the shop in June 2020, according to Washington Business Journal. “I’m very grateful for the way that it was handed to me,” Ms. Stone told WBJ. “As a young person, I feel like I’m able to be creative and do what needs to be done.”

Stone rebranded the shop to Tropics Ice Cream & Jerk shortly thereafter, expanding the menu to offer Jamaican patties, smoothies, and jerk chicken.

A reopening timetable has not been announced. The Source will update as more information becomes available.

Photos by David Lay (thanks to reader Chelsea D.!)

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