HARRISON, OH — Cowboy Cones made big waves last year when it claimed it would serve an ice cream tastier than Graeter’s.
This year, the owners of the Wyoming-based business are doubling down with the addition of a second location in Greater Cincinnati, this time in Harrison.
Clash of the Cones – a name that's a nod to the border town's rivalry with neighboring Indiana school East Central – opened last week at 101 E. Broadway St., at the former location of Lazy Days Ice Cream in old downtown.
The new menu will mirror the Wyoming location's offerings, including super-premium hand-dipped ice cream, soft serve, shakes, sundaes and more items.
It may be an unprecedented time to expand, but Harrison presented the perfect opportunity, said J.D. Raphael, one of four co-owners, including Lisa Raphael and Ashley and Brandon Victor.
"This fell in our lap," J.D. Raphael said. "It's a growing area. There's no other place in Harrison [like this], and it's a pretty large area. The only competition right now is a UDF and Dairy Queen. We're aiming for a different kind of customer. We're aiming for someone who wants something a little more premium."
Cowboy Cones, which opened its first location in 2019, was able to differentiate itself in the market with its Chocolate Shoppe brand ice cream. It claimed to be the first business in Cincinnati to serve it. Manufactured in Madison, Wisconsin, the ice cream is known for its higher butterfat content, which makes for a creamier, tastier product, Raphael said, as well as wonky name combinations, such as Yippie Skippee and Fat Elvis.
Top sellers in Wyoming have included Cotton Candy Twist, Cookie Dough, Ultimate Oreo and Zanzibar, an award-winning chocolate ice cream made with three kinds of cocoa. Raphael said he expects Harrison to trend the same.
The menu also will include sorbet and soy-based options, United Dairy-brand soft serve, homemade waffle cones and a variety of rotating specials.
"People in Wyoming rave about it. It's really good ice cream," Raphael said. "We just got a five-star review on Yelp from a woman who lives an hour away who said it was the best ice cream she's ever had. We get that all the time. We think it's going to sell here."
Raphael and others spent the last few weeks updating the space, largely with their new moniker. Lazy Days Ice Cream, which had a nearly six-year run, never reopened after the COVID-19 shutdown in March, so minimal changes were needed.
Clash of the Cones served its first customers on June 13, and the business will open seasonally for now. Raphael said he's considering adding food items in the future.
Tentative hours are noon-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and noon-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.