If you’re obsessed with “Stranger Things” and are near L.A. or Toronto, you can step into Scoops Ahoy (in-show employer of Steve and Robin) for a limited time!
Whether it’s Eleven’s obsession with Eggos or Karen Wheeler’s ‘80s comfort food cooking prowess, food has always played an important role in “Stranger Things.” That trend continues with the Netflix sensation’s third season which features appearances from 70-year-old mall staple Hot Dog on a Stick, New Coke (scrapped weeks after its 1985 release, the infamous cola is now back on shelves for a limited time thanks to the show), and most notably, Scoops Ahoy.
If you were previously unfamiliar with the ice cream emporium which employs Steve and Robin and, most importantly, provides them with the overboard sailor outfits which they thankfully don throughout their saving-the-world exploits, that’s because it never existed. Until now.
Thanks to Baskin-Robbins, in collaboration with Netflix, you can enjoy Scoops Ahoy and all its cheesy, nautical-themed glory first-hand. But unfortunately this particular portal to the upside down will close on July 14 and only extends to Toronto and Burbank where two Baskin-Robbins stores have been converted to detailed replicas of the Starcourt Mall scoop shop. (If you can’t make it to Burbank or Toronto, don’t fret. “Stranger Things” eats and merch—of course there’s merch—will be sold throughout the summer at select Baskin-Robbins locations across the country, so be sure to call your local store to see what’s available.)
On Sunday, I was among the “Stranger Things” faithful who checked out the Burbank location for some ice cream and plenty of Instagram opportunities. If you’re planning on making the voyage, here’s what to expect.
Come hungry, because there are several “Stranger Things”-inspired frozen confections to choose from including three limited-edition ice cream flavors. If you happen to share in El’s love of Eggos, opt for Eleven’s Heaven which features a unique waffle cone-flavored base. Chocolate fans should indulge in the Upside Down Praline which is dotted with candied pecans and laced with caramel. You can also also hop aboard the U.S.S. Butterscotch which is available to-go in pre-packaged quarts (if you’re lucky, you might be able to find the flavor at Target too).
Channel your inner Erica Sinclair and enjoy it as a sundae, paired with scoops of Chocolate, Very Berry Strawberry, and a trio of waffle cone “sails.”
Other options include the Elevenade Freeze, a frosty beverage that fuses vanilla ice cream with lemonade; a Snickers ice cream, fudge, and M&M topped cookie “polar pizza” dubbed Byer’s House Lights, as well as show-themed ice-cream cakes; and a Demogorgon sundae which looks as creepy as it sounds.
On the non-edible front there a few “Stranger Things” collectibles for sale, most notably an exclusive Funko figure featuring Steve decked out in his Scoops Ahoy gear.
Be Prepared to Wait
Consider arriving when the store opens at 11 a.m. By the time I rolled by early afternoon, the line snaked around the corner and several items including the Steve Funko figure and U.S.S. Butterscotch quarts were sold out for the day. (If you happen to get a hold of a U.S.S. Butterscotch quart, be sure to keep the container. Then watch this commercial, dial the number featured at the end, and hit three. Yep, even “Stranger Things” tie-ins require a trip down the rabbit hole.)
Stranger Things Scoops Ahoy USS Butterscotch Slime, $9.99 on Target
Do NOT confuse this with actual ice cream, but it might be the next best thing?
Not surprisingly, most of my neighbors were “Stranger Things” superfans who rocked apparel from the show and engaged in heated discussions around the latest season. There was even an older gentleman doing his best Hawkins P.D. impression—he even converted his Jeep into an “official” police vehicle.
It took nearly an hour before I was granted entrance inside, but hey, if you were able to withstand the nearly two year gap between seasons two and three, what’s another 45 minutes? And if you don’t have time to spare, there always the drive-thru route.
Attention to Detail, Even the Hair
Once I finally entered the pop-up through anchor-emblazoned sliding glass doors, I was immediately greeted by a boisterous “Ahoy!” The greeting came from an employee stationed in a bough-shaped booth, who, seemingly in honor of Steve, rocked a killer coif.
The next sound you’ll notice is the Scoops Ahoy theme song, an earworm of a tune that might have been a reject from the “Pirates of the Carribbean” soundtrack. The jaunty number played endlessly on loop and was barely more tolerable than Dustin and Suzy’s “NeverEnding Story” duet. I felt for the employees (wasn’t their gaudy attire punishment enough?), but they were all cheerful and never distracted by trying to crack a secret Russian code.
As for the eats, it’s your typical, passable Baskin-Robbins fare. But, of course, you’re there for the atmosphere and on that front, Scoops Ahoy is definitely worth the trip. The space is decently sized for an ice cream shop (it happens to be the company’s L.A. flagship) and each and every detail has been given the “authentic” treatment from the cooler doors to the napkin dispensers. If you’re able to grab one of the few tables inside, stake your claim and enjoy your ice cream while soaking in your surroundings. Just make sure to head out before that damn song drives you to madness.
Header image courtesy of Baskin-Robbins