Steel City Pops in Downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama Appears to be Permanently Closed
The Tuscaloosa location of Birmingham's much-beloved Steel City Pops store appears to have closed permanently.
The gourmet popsicle shop opened on the corner of University Boulevard and 22nd Avenue in the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa in 2016, but a sign in the window now indicates the store is closed for good.
"Sorry!" the sign reads. "We have closed this store, but please visit our Birmingham store or order online."
The Tuscaloosa Thread has been attempting to reach a spokesperson for Steel City Pops since mid-January, but multiple calls and emails have gone unreturned.
If the store has permanently closed, it follows a string of tough decisions for the dessert brand.
The store closed its original location in Homewood, Alabama in January 2021, which then-CEO Pete Srodoski attributed to a number of factors, including dramatic decreases in foot traffic and local events thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Months later, in November 2021, the company closed all its stores in Kentucky, where they did business in Louisville, Lexington and Prospect.
A letter obtained by Louisville Fox affiliate WDRB from CEO Mike Elhaj said he had made the difficult decision to close the majority of their stores and lay off staff in a bid to survive another day and try to "come back stronger" in 2022.
It is not clear when and why the Tuscaloosa store closed, but it is a safe bet that similar factors and the ongoing damage done by the pandemic to small business owners were responsible.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Steel City Pops website lists just two locations -- one in Birmingham, and another in Fort Worth, Texas.
Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates from the company if any are provided and for exclusive restaurant and retail news in and around the Druid City.