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The Ice Cream of the Future is a thing of the past on Tuscaloosa's 15th Street as the Dippin' Dots store that has operated there for more than 20 years has permanently closed.

In an exclusive interview with The Tuscaloosa Thread, Dippin' Dots Senior Director of Franchising Steve Rothenstein said the company originally closed the 15th Street location back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He confirmed Wednesday afternoon the store will not reopen.

Fans of the company's one-of-a-kind beaded ice cream need not panic, though, Rothenstein said. Dippin' Dots products will still be readily available in several area locations such as convenience stores.

"It's a great market and we've appreciated the patrons over the years," Rothenstein said. "You can still find us around town in some other venues and we can't wait to be back and take care of everybody, the locals and the kids alike."

Rothenstein said the local franchise was first built in the mid-1990's. Over its more than two decades in Tuscaloosa, the store saw multiple franchise owners and was rebuilt from the ground up after being leveled by the EF-4 tornado that devastated the Druid City in April 2011.

"It's a phenomenal market," Rothenstein said. "We were there for many, many years and when the right opportunity presents itself, I would imagine that it would come back again in the future."

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on the future of that space as it becomes available.

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