In its newest (and biggest) location, Locopops has diversified its dessert menu to feature non-frozen and liquid treats. A spiffy new shop on Hillsborough Road, down the road from their original store, also expands hours, and parking to be enjoyed all year. Locopops has been making Mexican-style popsicles for more than a decade, but scaled back from multiple storefronts in Raleigh and Chapel Hill in 2013 to focus on the “mothership” in Durham, plus coolers in select retail stores, as well as a VW bus food truck. With room for groups and options for a variety of tastes, the new Locopops is destined to be a favorite for birthday parties and any days that call for a treat.
Vibe: Filling the ground floor of a renovated 1915 house, various seating spreads through multiple rooms, with a covered porch, a kids’ area with books and toys, and a counter just begging to hold a milkshake. Tables from the former Liggett & Myers factory lunchroom accommodate groups, and popsicle-eaters can pack into the wooden park benches from the old shop. Custom-made wire whisk light fixtures hang over a wooden bar made by local craftsman Steve Peters, and Mason jars accent the lighting over the a tiny table and chairs for children. An upright piano will soon feature in sing-a-longs and casual concerts.
Photo by Meg Nesterov
The interior of Locopops new location in Durham
Menu: The customary list of paletas, divided into milk-based (crema) and juice-based (agua), is supplemented by a case of baked desserts. A rotating menu of pies might include key lime, black bottom pecan, blueberry ginger, or Nutella mousse. Coffee from Joe van Gogh and Rishi tea are available, but don’t look for espresso drinks. Locopops wants to be a good neighbor to Cocoa Cinnamon across the street (feel free to order a latte to go and return to Locopops). In the coming months, expect cakes, milkshakes, agua frescas, and sodas, all made in house.
Price range: Popsicles are $1.50 to 2.75, drinks are around $2.50, slices of pie start at $4.50.
What to order: Locopops’ tried-and-true flavors like Salted Caramel and Strawberries and Cream always tempt, but the limited-edition “guest stars” are only available at this location. On the baked side, Mexican chocolate translates well to chess pie, and try anything with a salty-sweet combo, like strawberry icebox with a pretzel crust. Scaled down “baby” pops are perfect for kids who don’t yet get the urgency of ice cream, and canine-friendly “pup” pops are tasty for dogs.
Perfect for: Hot summer or bleak winter days; families with kids of any age; coffee shop patrons needing a break from the sea of laptops across the street.