Havana’s Coppelia Ice Cream Parlor Opens a ‘Line for Failures’

Telephone reservations at the ‘Cathedral of Ice Cream’ have not prevented the long lines or frustrating wait. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Natalia López Moya, Havana, 3 October 2021 — A week ago the Coppelia ice cream parlor in Havana resumed table service but only for customers with a telephone reservation. The new access mechanism to the ’Cathedral of Ice Cream’ has not prevented the long lines or frustrating waits that have been an inseparable part of the place for decades.

“This damn country!” a child was heard saying this Saturday as he waited under the shade of a tree with other kids to enter one of the public service areas. The little boy’s expression provoked laughter and also the mother’s scolding: “Child, do you want me to be imprisoned? Do me a favor and calm down.”

Nine days have passed since the reopening and criticism of the new mechanism is already being heard. Tricks to skip it are also proliferating. Regular customers at the store on the central corner of 23 and L, in Havana’s Vedado district, prefer to take their place in the “line of failures,” the line where those who trust that several of the users with reservations will not show up.

“The guards’ business has already started. This will never change here,” said a man who complained about the parking area for vehicles — under the sun — where they had to wait to enter. “It is clear that it is convenient for them to have this line hidden back here, so that we do not see the ’line breakers’ who pass for a few pesos without calling or waiting.”

There were also those who learned of the requirements to have a reservation only when arriving at the place. Like a lady who was surprised to find out. “They don’t invent anything good, everything is putting the people to work. I’m from San Miguel del Padrón and I don’t have a phone, so if I’m around here and it occurs to me to have an ice cream, should I go home and ask the neighbor can I borrow the phone to make a reservation? “

The woman mentally calculated her possibilities looking at the dozen people who were waiting and gave up on ice cream: “I’m leaving, there are many people here, if nobody fails to reserve then I will only have to line up and sunbathe for fun.”


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