Zip'z

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Super S
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Zip'z

Post by Super S » 19 Feb 2008 03:21

As a kid in the early 80s, I vaguely remember a failed chain by the name of Zip'z. They were scattered in various parts of the country, and had distinctive, yellow dome-shaped buildings. I have seen these in Ohio, and remember one location in Boise, Idaho (somewhere on Fairview Ave), as well as various other cities I visited around the U.S. as I traveled with my family.

I never have eaten at one...I only remember closed-down locations which still had signs, some of which appeared to be rotating and had pictures of an ice cream cone on one side, and the Zip'z name on the other. My impression is that they were similar to a Dairy Queen.

I can't find any information on this chain...does anybody else here remember this one?

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submariner
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Re: Zip'z

Post by submariner » 19 Feb 2008 04:00

A cursory Google search for "Zip'z Ice Cream" shows two locations by that name. One in Chicago, the other in Englishtown, NJ. Unfortunately I couldn't find a valid website, nor did satellite imagery reveal anything substantial.
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rich
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Re: Zip'z

Post by rich » 19 Feb 2008 18:29

You really jogged my memory on this one. I remember the yellow, domed stand alone locations, smaller than a typical Dairy Queen. What I recall is soft serve ice cream and I think their "gimmick" was toppings, wider range of jimmies, choclate flakes, etc. than usual. I remember them being in Toledo, but not Cleveland or anywhere outside of Ohio. they may also have been in Bowling Green, Ohio for a short time. I assumed they were a local thing in NW Ohio. I first saw them in the mid-70s, but I think were gone by the early 80s, at least in Toledo.

Transit Road
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Re: Zip'z

Post by Transit Road » 20 Feb 2008 02:16

Yes, I remember Zip'z - there was a location on NY Route 59 in Nanuet, (Rockland County) NY somewhere between 1978 and 1980.

It was not a stand alone location, though. The store was located in a small strip mall just south of the White Castle restaurant on the Northbound side of Route 59.

For the time, it was innovative.

Tblume2752
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Re: Zip'z

Post by Tblume2752 » 03 Jun 2008 23:53

Most of the posts here are correct, with exception to the one located in Chicago, which is not a true Zip'z Ice Cream Pleasures... My parents actually owned a Zip'z Ice Cream in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL and ran the business for 10+years (was the last one in Illinois)... it was originally a franchise based in Toledo, Ohio back in the early-mid 70's, but later became disinfranchised and was independently owned and operated... The whole "catch" of the business was the concept of "make you own sundae's" with close to 30 toppings to choose from and the "catch phrasing" of the menu items, like the sizing which were Zinger, Zooper, and Zonker; AKA small, medium, and large. The colors were yellow and red, and yes, the "lolli-pop" signage for the front... The major difference of a Zip'z versus DQ or Baskin Robbins was the quality of the products used and all of the toppings were made on-sight fresh... Zip'z was REAL ice cream, not frozen custard or low quality (less percentaged) ice cream/custard...also available was REAL yogurt soft serve. The freshness of the toppings and vast array of selection made Zip'z untouchable in comparison to other "ice cream" places, and also used top shelf hard ice cream with more selection then the competitors... as you can tell, I am a bit bias still to this day! :)

Toby Radloff
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Re: Zip'z

Post by Toby Radloff » 22 Jul 2008 23:39

Zip'Z had several of their prefabricated domes located in the parking lots of Uncle Bill's and possibly other Cook United discount stores. I know that there were once Zip'Z locations at the Uncle Bill's stores on Broadway Avenue in Cleveland and on Northfield Road in North Randall. The North Randall Zip'Z later became a pizza restaurant for a brief time. Most of the Zip'Z stores closed by the early 1980's. I also remember that in at least a couple of instances, the Zip'Z buildings, after the chain folded, were moved and reused. I remember seeing one moved to a farm in a rural area of Ohio-I think the owner used the building to store farm supplies.

Super S
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Re: Zip'z

Post by Super S » 21 Aug 2008 00:41

Did Zip'z also serve food like Dairy Queen does, or were they like a Baskin-Robbins where they only served ice cream and related things?

From what everyone has posted here so far, they were a regional chain that failed as they started expanding to other areas. I am positive that there was one of these in Boise, and when I moved from there in 1988, the building was still there but at that point was painted white. I have not looked for this building on my return visits since then, so I have no idea if it is still there.

Super S
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Re: Zip'z

Post by Super S » 19 Jul 2009 11:55

I passed through Boise in June and drove by the former Zip'z site there. The "dome" building is gone, but the nearby business Gen X Clothing is using the old Zip'z sign. The address is 7071 W. Fairview, I did not get a chance to take a picture as we were running short on time.

reneejoh
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Re: Zip'z

Post by reneejoh » 18 Sep 2013 15:08

We had one on Navarre Ave. in Oregon, Ohio. The building is gone, but the circular concrete pad remains in the parking lot of the vacant Foodtown Grocery store.
My question is... there is a circle building of the same size that is now painted white at the corner of Monroe St. and Douglas in Toledo, Ohio and I think this was once a Zip's too? Can anyone confirm this?
Thanks!

Super S
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Re: Zip'z

Post by Super S » 07 Jan 2015 23:30

reneejoh wrote:We had one on Navarre Ave. in Oregon, Ohio. The building is gone, but the circular concrete pad remains in the parking lot of the vacant Foodtown Grocery store.
My question is... there is a circle building of the same size that is now painted white at the corner of Monroe St. and Douglas in Toledo, Ohio and I think this was once a Zip's too? Can anyone confirm this?
Thanks!
I just took a look at the Google street view of that circle building, now called Igloo. I suppose this could have been a version that had no indoor seating, but the ones I remember seemed to be big enough to have indoor seating. It looks more to me that it was intended to resemble an igloo from the start.

Then again, it has been almost 30 years since I last saw one of those dome buildings. Everything seems bigger when you are a kid, so I really don't know.

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