14ymedio, Luz Escobar, 24 June 2019 — Many Havanans had planned to get some relief from the intense heat of this first weekend of summer by buying a tasty ice cream in the renovated Coppelia ice cream parlor, whose public reopening was scheduled for Sunday after an official opening the evening before, but it never happened because the ice cream did not arrive on time.
“I do not know exactly when we will open, they have already extended the date three times, but what I can tell you is that here, right now, everything is ready, we just need the ice cream, but the factory is still having problems,” a security employee explained on Saturday in the forecourt of the premises, located at the corner of 23rd and L Streets in Havana.
“Yesterday a guard here told me that this Saturday would be the official opening and that tomorrow, Sunday, it would be open to the public. That’s why I came here today, because I wanted to bring my children tomorrow, but I don’t feel like making the trip with the children for nothing,” a woman told the Coppelia guards.
At the weekend, the downtown site looks like it had been painted and there is new furniture, the style of which respects the traditional chairs. In addition, awnings have been placed in the open areas, known as “courts,” which were previously mostly exposed to sun and rain.
On the side of the ice cream parlor, where the parking lot is, two booths have been built for the sale of ice cream cones. One of the employees who, this Saturday, was cleaning up the remains of paint explained to this newspaper that there will be two options offered for sale, one in convertible pesos and one in national currency.
Last April, both the Coppelia factory and the ice cream parlor closed their services. At that time it was said that the objective was “to make technological improvements, to perfect the production processes, and to create the conditions for the definitive and stable production of Coppelia ice cream.”
At the end of last month the general director of the Dairy Complex of Havana, Chelenin Darias Jorge, said that for the reopening a list of 20 flavors will be produced in the industry, guaranteeing no fewer than 10 for Coppelia.
National television informed its viewers that the authorities were in the process of restoring the premises, but without fixing an exact date for its reopening. At the meeting, Miguel Diaz-Canel called for the ice cream parlor to maintain a “good service” beyond the first days.
The first date announced for the inauguration was June 4, Coppelia’s 53rd anniversary. Later it was announced for June 14 and, finally, for Saturday the 22nd, but none of these dates have been met.
According to official figures, Coppelia is visited every day, on average, by some 8,000 people, although during school holidays it can reach 12,000 visitors in a single day.
This Sunday, the security employee again explained that the factory hurried to try to open this Tuesday and the evening news closed with images of the emblematic ice cream shop and the commitment of an opening this week. Maybe, in this case, the fourth date will be the one.
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