Untimely Disappearance of Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls Suggests a New Restaurant Category: the Pop-Down


Is the shadowy figure with listening devices in his ears somehow responsible for the disappearance?

Call it what you will, a Secretly Temporary Restaurant (STP) or maybe a Pop-Down, but the disappearance of Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls at this juncture in time — after the shank of the summer, but before Indian summer furnishes a sweltering late September and early October — makes us think “conspiracy.”

The shadow of the name cast eerily upon the floor

We’d grown to almost love it, the micro-shaved ices topped with our choice of wacky and decidedly unorganic and unnatural syrups, and such other diverse substances as sweetened condensed milk and vanilla ice cream. The flavors were decidedly strange, and entirely contrary to zeitgeist: Mardi Gras king cake, cotton candy, root beer, strawberry cheesecake, and ice cream (which you could presumably top with real ice cream, for a collision of culinary forms). The balls were just plain fun.

Then, a couple of days ago, the place packed up and simply disappeared. Was it the hurricane, and memories of Katrina in New Orleans — the city that was ostensibly the origin of Sno-Balls — which drove them out of the city? Or, as we now suspect, was that the plan all along, to make us fall in love with Sno-Balls, and then abscond with our affections?

Definition of a pop-down: an eatery that starts out with every evidence of being a permanent phenomenon, then closes unexpectedly after only a few months, with an end date that was entirely premeditated.

See previous coverage here.

In happier times …

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