Brickley’s Ice Cream closes Wakefield location over ‘verbally abusive’ customers

WAKEFIELD, R.I (WLNE) – In a Facebook post, the owner of Brickley’s Ice Cream said they will be closing their Wakefield location for the season after repeated issues with uncooperative customers.

The most recent incident, according to Brickley’s, was this weekend when customers became verbally abusive towards the staff after they were told they could not stay and eat on the patio.

When another customer tried to intervene, the situation almost “came to blows” according to the Facebook post.

“If customers stay to eat their ice cream on the patio, we will quickly have an unsafe situation with too many people congregating (without masks) while other customers wait for their orders. We just do not have the space”, said owner Stephen Brophy.

Brickley’s had a similar situation with disgruntled customers back in June.

“It was just really unfortunate and disheartening to see,” said Sarah Bard, a customer who was at the shop for Sunday’s incident. “They were asked to leave the patio area, that’s Brickley’s policy right now.. they just don’t have enough space to safely accommodate everybody.”

Bard said the men looked to be in their 50s or 60s and were swearing at the young staff after being told to eat their ice cream off the premises.

“They became very rude, swearing at the employees and other customers who tried to intervene. That’s not something you want to go see when you’re out doing a family activity. You want to think everybody’s just going to be kind and respectful and just follow the rules.”

At the ice cream shop Tuesday, a Post-It note was stuck to the front door that read, “Stay well! Sorry you are closing! We will miss you!”

“It’s just very upsetting that now they have to close down, but I really respect the owner and that he’s really thinking about his employees’ safety and he’s just, unfortunately, having to make that choice for the good of his employees,” said Bard.

The Wakefield location will be closed for the remainder of the season.

Some staff members will be moved to the Narragansett location, which will remain open, on Wednesdays through Sundays.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

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