Kooky Mooky's owners look toward new opportunities with end of lease

emoody@beaufortgazette.comDecember 20, 2013 

Kooky Mooky's Premium Ice Cream employee Kelly Alonso serves Ainslie Stemland of Dataw Island, left, and Lynn Groff of Beaufort on Friday. The shop will close Dec. 28.

THEOPHIL SYSLO — Theophil Syslo Buy Photo

Mika'l Qualls remembers the first day Kooky Mooky's opened four years ago.

It was Shrimp Festival.

The air conditioner was broken.

The ice cream cooler was acting up.

And Qualls and other workers happily scooped melting ice cream for customers eager for something cold to take the edge off the heat.

"That shows you how green we were," she said. "We were so ignorant and so blissfully happy to be open."

Kooky Mooky's will close Dec. 28, after a half-price sale to clear out food and ice cream before there is nowhere to keep it.

"I love this community. I was born and raised here," she said. "It's always been my dream to own a business here."

Qualls took over the business from her parents, David and Kelly Marcy, in March. Operating a cafe and ice cream shop was their dream, but, she joked, "When you own a restaurant, you are married to it. They've been married to it for a long time and they wanted a divorce."

Qualls and her husband were planning to close temporarily at the beginning of 2014 for renovations to expand seating, repaint, add fans and heaters outside, and rejigger the kitchen to accommodate menu changes.

Instead, owner Elizabeth Brya Oliver informed them she wouldn't be renewing the lease, Qualls said.

"We've never given her a reason," she said.

Oliver would not comment about the end of the lease or what will happen to the building.

Mika'l Qualls said arrangements have been made for contractors to come in and measure the building, which she says suggests something will move in soon.

As for the Qualls, they are taking a few months off to pray and think about what kind of restaurant to open and where. Mika'l Qualls said they intend to reopen something, somewhere in the Beaufort area.

In other changes about town:

  • Mizu Japanese Seafood & Steakhouse, 1370 Ribaut Road., has closed. Mizu reopened two years ago after remodeling after a fire in 2010.
  • Family Dollar, 1291 Ribaut Road, is preparing for a move to the new, larger store under construction at 1265 Ribaut Road. An assistant manager said the move will be in January, but a date and grand opening have not been set.

    Information: 843-524-6014

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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