Sometime Sunday night, vandals damaged three chairs and a bench at the popular Mike’s Ice Cream patio on Oak Street.
“Who would do something like this?” said Tassie Mack, who owns Mike’s and the adjoining Ruddy Duck store with her husband, Mike Kitts. Employees were present until about 11 p.m. and there is usually foot traffic until 1 a.m., said Mack, who reported the incident to police.
Damaged were one of four large green Adirondack chairs and three of the smaller, kid-sized chairs, arrayed in front of the ice cream store and Ruddy Duck. Also damaged was one of four benches lining the sidewalk.
“The rest of the furniture was piled up as if they were trying to break all of it,” Mack said.
But the chairs, hand-made by the late John Neill, stood up to most of the abuse, she said. Neill, who died April 14, built all of the Mike’s Ice Cream furniture, and the cabinetry inside the shop. The chairs were among the last projects Neill made, Mack said.
She is unsure how long it will take to replace the damaged furniture; they will take time to repair, and backups Mack and Kitts have at home need to be readied for use at the business.
“This is unfortunate because we operate this business based on trust,” she said.
Mike’s accepts cash only, and if people haven’t the dollars on them to pay for the ice cream, employees routinely tell them to send a check when they get home. “It happens every day, and I don’t think we’ve ever been stiffed; we get checks from all over the United States.”