SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

One day after reopening, an ice cream shop was forced to temporarily close because customers didn't follow social distancing rules

An ice cream shop in Massachusetts had to close its doors just one day after reopening because customers refused to follow social distancing rules and harassed employees. CNN affiliate WFXT reports.

Posted: May 11, 2020 6:53 AM
Updated: May 11, 2020 1:00 PM


Nearly all states partially reopened last week and businesses across the country are preparing to welcome customers back. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, things are far from normal.

An ice cream shop in Massachusetts had to close its doors on Saturday, just one day after reopening, because customers refused to follow social distancing rules and even harassed employees.

Things got so bad at the Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour in Mashpee that an employee quit the same day.

'One of my best workers quit yesterday at the end of her shift. She stuck it through her shift,' owner Mark Lawrence told CNN affiliate WFXT. 'But the words she was called and the language, you wouldn't even say in a men's locker room. And to say it to a 17-year-old kid, they should be ashamed of themselves.'

In accordance with reopening guidelines, Lawrence said the shop asked all customers to place their orders at least one hour in advance.

However, many customers ignored the request and showed up without doing so. When the shop got busy, customers took their anger out on the staff, he said.

'Now I open the doors to a whole new world, with gloves and masks and we're running around like chickens, and people are like where's my ice cream? I'm not a trauma center, it's ice cream!' Lawrence told WFXT.

'People have forgotten how to treat other human beings in the six or seven weeks that they've been confined to their homes. They have no clue how to respect other human beings.'

The owner told CNN 'F-bombs were flying like snowflakes' and customers refused to social distance, forcing the shop to stay open nearly two hours after they were supposed to close.

At some point, one of the shop's customers who noticed what was going on hopped out of her car, put on a mask and gloves, and helped them serve ice cream.

After work on Friday, Lawrence expressed his dismay on Facebook: 'In 19 years of operation this is the lowest feeling I have ever felt.' The next day he made the difficult decision to close to the public.

Fortunately, this ice cream shop's story has a sweet ending.

Those sorrowful posts quickly went viral in Mashpee, eliciting local news coverage and an outpouring of support from the public.

By Sunday, Lawrence had reopened and customers were following the rules.

'Today was a vastly improved operation,' he said on Facebook. 'People placed their orders an hour or more (some, a day before) prior to their pick up time. They followed the rules and it worked.'

'Thank you for the incredible outpouring of love and support from so many,' he added. 'It truly means so much to me at this time.'

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 292560

Reported Deaths: 6718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1232563643
Riverside21957515
Orange20225376
San Diego17842406
San Bernardino16586293
Imperial7464125
Fresno728184
Alameda7245142
San Joaquin581761
Kern575987
Santa Clara5552165
Tulare5298148
Sacramento477678
Contra Costa424186
San Francisco407150
Ventura385850
Santa Barbara380830
San Mateo3743111
Marin323226
Stanislaus300450
Kings282338
Monterey227017
Solano192227
Merced162311
Sonoma148714
Placer97011
Madera8578
San Luis Obispo8453
Yolo76028
Santa Cruz5033
Napa4534
Sutter3234
San Benito3042
Butte2954
El Dorado2800
Lassen2670
Shasta1715
Humboldt1574
Nevada1551
Yuba1543
Glenn1530
Lake1001
Colusa980
Mendocino980
Tehama981
Calaveras610
Del Norte580
Tuolumne580
Mono491
Amador350
Inyo341
Siskiyou330
Mariposa311
Plumas150
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Scattered Clouds
95° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 95°
Oroville
Clear
95° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 95°
Paradise
Scattered Clouds
95° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 95°
Chester
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 85°
Red Bluff
Clear
98° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 98°
Willows
Scattered Clouds
95° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 95°
Sunny to mostly sunny skies and HOT temperatures are on the way through your weekend
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events