Scoop DeVille ice cream to close - sort of

Scoop DeVille on Chestnut Street near 18th.

Since 1989, the Shore family has dispensed ice cream and candy from its old-fashioned shop on Chestnut Street near 18th.

But April 27 will be last call at Scoop DeVille and Maron Chocolates.

Owner Matthew Shore cites rising rents that, he says, are squeezing out his and other independent businesses. "It's turning into a franchise city," he told me.

There are two bits of good news, though:

1. The Scoop DeVille/Maron Chocolates name will live on. The Shores are licensing the brands to a businessman who in mid-May will open a Scoop DeVille at 1315 Walnut St. - on Walnut near Juniper.

2. Shore and his wife, Sarah, are opening Sophie's Cafe - basically a Scoop DeVille with a regulation breakfast/lunch cafe - in June at 163 E. Lancaster Ave. in downtown Wayne, where Cream & Sugar was. The ice cream will be the same as it was in Center City; they're taking the ice cream machines with them. Sophie is their 22-month-old daughter.

As for the tenant taking over Scoop DeVille (1734 Chestnut St.), I've heard conflicting reports: One candidate is Kiehl's, the skin-care shop that was uprooted earlier this year from its home at 18th and Walnut Streets and is now in temporary quarters at Liberty Place at 16th and Chestnut Streets. I'm skeptical about that deal, though. Another potential tenant, according to Foobooz's sources, is healthy-foods purveyor sweetgreen.