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The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

Snookie’s Malt Shop Reopens


Snookies Malt Shop celebrated its 2022 season-opening on March 26 in the Beaverdale neighborhood.

The small, family-owned business opened its drive-thru and walk-up windows to an excited public that braved the breezy and cold opening afternoon.

The afternoon featured Des Moines residents of all ages, family selfies in front of the neon Snookies sign and a host of four-legged friends equally excited to receive their free “pup cones.”

Snookies manager Leslie Hunter said that Snookies has always had a family atmosphere. The crowd of diverse ages was not the only representation of this.

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“My husband Chris and three daughters all work together here at Snookies,” Hunter said.

While founded in 1986, the Hunter family bought Snookies Malt Shop in 2019, just a year before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While drive-thru and spaced outdoor areas have proved successful in the shop staying open, COVID measures remain in place.

“We are still maintaining safety precautions for our staff and customers,” Hunter said.

According to Hunter, Snookies’ dining room is still closed to the public, staff members are fully vaccinated and mask-wearing remains in effect for all employees.

Roosevelt High School seniors Julia, Nora, Ellen and Anika came as a group to celebrate the opening.

“Coming to Snookies today was really a break from all of the stressful senior stuff,” Ellen said.

The quartet said that they have classmates who work at Snookies, and the shop’s reopening was a common conversation topic at school all week. They said both Snookies’ atmosphere and the shop’s frozen treats give off a certain “childhood nostalgia.”

Des Moines native Michael Thompson brought his family to the afternoon’s event. While celebrating with Snookies’ signature crunch cone, he said that he used to come to Snookies with his high school sweetheart and now wife.

Despite another unprecedented year, the Snookies menu remains the same.

“Snookies is known for our shakes, malts, Arctic Blasts, ice cream, classic banana splits, and signature cookies on cones,” Hunter said.

Thompson said a trip to Snookies is not complete without a crunch cone: a vanilla cone topped with peanuts, sprinkles and the signature Snookies cookie on top.

With family visiting from Pleasant Hill, Thompson and his family said that the trip Saturday afternoon was necessary.

“It’s a little bit of a drive, but worth every precious amount of gas,” Thompson said.

John Dee Bright College student Delaney Douglass grew up in Beaverdale and is now in her third season working at Snookies.

“As someone who has grown up right around the corner from Snookies just about my whole life, it’s a lot of fun as well,” Douglass said. “When I was little, I would look forward to getting ice cream in the summer and now I get to serve it to people and hopefully brighten their day.”

Douglass said one of her favorite things to order is a Peanut-Butter Oreo shake, but she recommended the Oreo, cookie dough or peanut butter cup Arctic Blasts.

“I dipped from my usual and got a Heath Arctic Blast,” Ellen said.

Like Hunter’s children, Douglass also works with her siblings and enjoys something fun, productive and fun in their community.

“More Drake students should stop by Snookies because it might be a ways off campus, but we are a neighborhood landmark and it’s always loads of fun meeting new people and seeing familiar faces from school and the community,” Douglass said.

Hunter said that, contrary to popular belief, there are no rivalries between other ice cream shops. 

“We are one big ice cream community that works together,” Hunter said.

The 2022 Snookies season spans six months, ending in late September.

According to Hunter, the vintage shop used to be cash-only but now takes cash, card and check.

Snookies is open Monday through Friday from 4-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-9 p.m.

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