Carroll Huntress is about to sweeten the shopping experience for patrons at Scottsdale’s historic Sugar Bowl ice cream parlor.
"My uncle started this wonderful restaurant," Huntress said.
"But now I’m going to do something myself that’s going to have my touch."
In the fall, Huntress will open the Sugar Bowl Fiesta, a souvenir and art store adjacent to the restaurant, offering 1,850 square feet of retail merchandise and additional customer seating.
With lofts planned for downtown Scottsdale, the Waterfront project and projected downtown revitalization, Huntress said he believes now is the right time to grow.
"I’m ready to do this. I really think the Sugar Bowl is going to make it, and we’re here to stay," he said.
The expansion will meet increasing customer demand for reserved seat- ing.
Huntress said patrons call daily asking him to save seats and tables for birthday parties, family reunions and, in one rare instance, a postfuneral party of family and friends at the deceased’s favorite ice cream parlor.
Parties of 10 to 40 people will be able to reserve space in the new seating area with the trademark pink-striped wallpaper, pink booths and old-fashioned "feel" of the Sugar Bowl.
"The reason that I did this was to capture that market I’ve been unable to capture before — needed reservation space," Huntress said.
The Fiesta will sell Sugar Bowl logo T-shirts, caps, mugs and souvenirs.
Kathy Duley, Huntress’ wife and owner of the Duley-Johnson Gallery in Scottsdale, is securing artwork priced for less than $500 from local artists to sell in the gift shop.
Works will include glass pieces from Carole Perry, illustrated books by "Family Circus" cartoonist Bil Keane and artist/author Jean Eckman Adams, Duley said.
Carroll Huntress’ uncle, Jack Huntress, established the Sugar Bowl in 1958.
The shop has weathered economic downturns, stockmarket lows and unpopular City Council decisions affecting downtown Scottsdale, Carroll Huntress said.
Huntress joined the business in 1981 and shared his uncle’s vision of a familyoriented ice cream parlor.
"He put the menu together, did all the decorating and had wonderful staff on hand," Huntress said. "I was able to use that and make it grow over the last 20 years." Huntress purchased the Sugar Bowl from his uncle in 1985.
The ice cream parlor occupied the larger portion of the 5,100-square-foot building while stores moved in and out of the smaller section.
Built by Western Motor Service in 1950, the building was added to Scottsdale’s Historic Register last spring.
Interior renovation began in early July.
The building’s exterior will undergo about $20,000 in improvements, replacing rotting cedar shake shingles, extending the red-and-white striped valance farther south to the expanded area, and repainting the building pink, said David Ortega, architect and former Scottsdale city councilman.
Huntress may apply for matching funds to renovate the exterior through the Storefront Renovation Fund, said Ortega, who added that the expansion is a good example of an Old Town Scottsdale business reinvesting in itself.
"It’s actually where I proposed to my wife," Ortega said. "There’s nothing more hometown than the Sugar Bowl."