Less than a year after a renovation that added gourmet coffee to the menu, the Oyster Bay ice cream parlor Gooseberry Grove has closed. Owner Bob Liebold said that he and his landlord failed to come to an agreement on a new lease.
Meredith Liebold established the business in 1999 as Gooseberry Grove Country Store, an antiques shop. But in 2004 her husband transformed it into an ice cream shop, keeping the name because “everyone liked it. It just rolled off the tongue.” Over the next 13 years, he honed his skills as an ice cream maker, coming up with such flavors as chocolate-bacon (chocolate ice cream studded with chocolate-covered bacon) and the legendary Matt’s frappé: Kahlúa-flavored vanilla ice cream inundated with chunks of Heath bar and frozen brownie batter.
As befits an ice cream parlor, Gooseberry Grove had a kid-friendly vibe and look. In May 2016, Bob Liebold smartened up the decor and furnishings and introduced a full line of brewed and pulled coffee drinks made with beans from Berkshires-based Barrington Coffee Roasting Company.
Now the shop is empty and Liebold has moved his ice cream-making equipment to Bayville where he is setting up a production facility to supply his wholesale accounts. In the spring, he’ll also open a retail outlet in a corner of the Oak Neck Deli at 80 Bayville Ave. in Bayville.
Liebold owns another business, Gooseberry Amusements, which supplies party-throwers bounce houses, inflatable water slides, cotton-candy machines and hot dog carts, among other amusements. No change there.
Oyster Bay residents mourning the loss of their lattes, macchiatos and cortados shouldn’t have much longer to wait until Huntington’s Southdown Coffee opens a branch on Audrey Avenue. Owner Mark Boccard is shooting for May.