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Big Dipper gets new look

January 22, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

After being nearly gutted by fire last November, The Big Dipper ice cream store in Hagerstown is coming back with a new look, new flavors and a drive-through.

The popular summertime destination in the city's South End has been closed since fire tore through the single-story building at 1033 Virginia Ave. on Nov. 22.

The fire, sparked by faulty electrical wiring, caused about $100,000 in damage, store owner Wayne Eury said.

Renovations have begun and the store is expected to open by mid-February, he said.

The forced closing date and expected reopening date coincide with the store's traditional seasonal schedule. Because of this coincidence many loyal Big Dipper customers may be surprised to find out about the fire, Eury said.

"The only good thing about the fire was the timing," he said.

According to Eury, the interior of the store is being renovated to remove a middle wall. The restroom and soft-serve ice cream machines are being moved and the exterior white paint is being replaced by off-white siding. The door is being moved from the side of the building to the front.

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All the movement and renovations have made room for a drive-through window.

"For years people have been telling me I need one," Eury said about a drive-through.

There will be 52 flavors, eight more than had been on the menu before the fire, Eury said. He wasn't sure what the new flavors would be, but said they probably would be sugar-free or nonfat flavors.

Eury, 49, and his wife Genevieve bought the store in 1991.

There was never any question that they would renovate and reopen the store, which has served ice cream for at least 20 years, he said.

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