By Drew Olson Special to Published Feb 10, 2008 at 5:05 AM

You're driving on North Avenue, trying to avoid traffic tie-ups on the other east-west arteries in the city, and the craving strikes.


The cold, creamy treat -- one of Wisconsin's favorite dessert indulgences -- is sounding its siren song. You pull over to grab a quick cone and, come to think of it, a cheeseburger would really hit the spot, too.

Given the cold, snowy weather of late, the custard part of the aforementioned scene might seem implausible.

Until a few months ago, it was impossible.

Now, there is Scoopz.

Located in a gleaming new 5,000 sq.-ft. building located at 3621 W. North Ave., Scoopz serves up custard, shakes and fountain treats in addition to burgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, chicken and fish sandwiches, fries, onion rings and a kids menu.

City officials like Ald. Willie Hines hope that, in addition to staving off cravings, Scoopz will provide employment and spark development in the area. That's exactly what developers Damon Dorsey and Bob Plevin, who have been involved in other projects on North Avenue.

Dorsey, who was president of the North Avenue Community Development Corp., also had a hand in Toussaint Square, a retail/residential building at 34th Street and North Avenue.

Before Scoopz, which bills itself as "The Best Picnic in Town," custard fans on the near Northwest Side had to drive to locations like Fred's, 4726 W. Vliet St., Kitts, 7000 W. Capitol Dr., Robert's, 6005 W. Appleton Ave., or even the bustling Kopp's location on Port Washington Road in Glendale.

Custard and cheeseburger aficionados familiar with Kopp's will recognize similarities at Scoopz: a modern, airy design; big windows; lots of stainless steel; employees dressed in white; similar custard machines ... even the smell from the grill is familiar. And, those burgers...

Scoopz offers a basic burger for $2.50 and charges extra for options like fried onions, lettuce, tomato and mayo. A basic cheeseburger is $3.10, while a steak burger is $3.75 ($4.25 with cheese).

The menu also features a classic hot dog ($2.50) and a hilly cheese steak ($4). Fish options include a ¼-pound cod filet sandwich ($3.45) and catfish with cole slaw ($3.50). Chicken sandwiches cost $4 and are available in Jamaican jerk, Cajun and barbecue. Chicken wings, which cost $3.85 per order, come in barbecue, jerk, hot and spicy and crispy.

As with many other stands around town, custard is the star of the show. Offerings include vanilla, chocolate and a flavor of the day. A single scoop (the menu calls it a "scoopz") costs $1.60, while a double is $2 and a triple is $2.50.

Sundaes are available for $3, with junior size for $2. A regular shake sells for $3.10 and the sundae menu ranges from $4 for a hot fudge delight to $4.50 for a Top of the World Temptation brownie sundae.

Scoopz is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.