Nu Quality closes, Taco Bell to move in

By on July 3, 2020

Citing year-round staffing difficulties and the COVID-19 pandemic, Nu Quality Ice Cream has permanently closed its doors after opening just a year ago in front of the Marketplace shopping center at Southern Shores.

Town officials confirmed that a Taco Bell will be taking over the building, which Nu Quality owner Spiros Giannakopoulos had originally designed to be reminiscent of the town’s historic flat-top cottages.

“It is with heavy hearts that we make this announcement,” the July 2 post on Nu Quality’s Facebook page read. “It was a very difficult decision for us, and it was not made lightly. We would like to thank everyone for their business and support.”

On July 3, the transition to a Taco Bell had already begun with painting of the exterior of the building to Taco Bell’s distinctive purple. The 910-square-foot ice cream shop featured a drive-in and walk-up service along with outdoor seating for 12. It was popular among pet owners for its free “pup cup” offerings.

The town issued Taco Bell a building and zoning permit on June 29 to remodel the existing drive-through facility, which will include new kitchen equipment and the replacement of existing signage. Deputy Town Manager Wes Haskett said the remodel does not include any structural or framing modifications.

Giannakopoulos, who resides in Southern Shores, could not be reached for comment by the Voice. In 2018, he began the process of gaining approval for the shop, which included amending the zoning ordinance to allow for small drive-ins in the town’s commercial zone along U.S. 158.  He was subsequently issued a Conditional Use Permit to move forward with construction.

One Facebook commenter, in response to Nu Quality’s announcement of closure, wrote, “We will miss you. I’m so sorry for you guys that it didn’t work out, but you were dealt a tough hand w/Covid. Luckily, we can continue to visit you in EC.”

On June 28, Peace of the Pie in Kill Devil Hills also announced it was permanently closing – citing a staffing crisis and the pandemic as reasons for the closure as well.


  • mike

    Nice to see all those Trillions in Trump emergency money going out to help all struggling small businesses.. NOT!

    Friday, Jul 3 @ 3:30 pm
  • Eddie Shack

    Mike, Duke U., NCSU and UNC have $15,000,000,000 in endowments. The NC state budget is about $50,000,000,000. And you blame Big Brother for not forking over enough money?

    Friday, Jul 3 @ 8:24 pm
  • Lou Briccant

    Yeah Mike… everything is Trump’s fault… the man had the economy rolling better than ever for anyone that wished to take advantage of it and then a pandemic comes about and brings it to a screeching halt… Random ice cream shop on the Outer Banks shuts down and it’s his fault.

    My guess would be Taco Bell came around and offered them a ton of money for the property and they said sure… seeing that they announced Taco Bell is taking over in the same announcement that they’re closing.

    Friday, Jul 3 @ 8:48 pm
  • GE

    Sad to see Gov. Cooper and Dare Commissioner ruined another business, these won’t be the last.

    Friday, Jul 3 @ 10:03 pm
  • Bud

    Trinket stores and tourist-only businesses are too many anyway. But a Taco Bell? That is a new low..

    Saturday, Jul 4 @ 5:49 am
  • John Boy Billy

    mike…has nothing to do with the dollars. It has to do with people not wanting to work. You must have missed the article about Dare County having a 19.6% unemployment rate yet all these businesses can’t find people to work. They are making more money sitting at home versus being a productive member of society.

    Saturday, Jul 4 @ 9:17 am
  • tim

    My son manages a store in Nags Head and he says since they reopened he can’t get workers because they get more on unemployment. We need to stop the handouts for doing nothing.

    Saturday, Jul 4 @ 11:50 am
  • hightider

    Taco Bell – for people who “love” Mexican food but have never eaten any. Until Taco Bell makes home made menudo from scratch each Friday, it ain’t real Mexican food.

    Saturday, Jul 4 @ 2:35 pm
  • KHer

    John BB is right. With both the state and Fed unemployment a person would take a pay cut to go back to work. When the Fed ck stops you’ll probably see people come back to work. But the Summer will be over…..

    Sunday, Jul 5 @ 8:12 am
  • Mae

    I love Taco Bell, cheap mexican fix!! Yea!!!

    Sunday, Jul 5 @ 7:58 pm
  • sandflea

    You guys do know that an employee can’t say they want to be off work for COVID right? The employer can make them come back to work. If they refuse, they don’t get the unemployment.

    Monday, Jul 6 @ 9:39 am
  • obxboxer

    A lot of people are hesitant to work this summer because of unsafe working environments. Businesses are not all holding up their end of the deal with sanitizing and protecting workers. Why would someone want to deal with telling sunburnt rowdy tourist they have to wear a mask and having to deal with the insulting rhetoric around why some people have made this health crisis and chance to get on the ole political soapbox? Young kids and unskilled laborers don’t make enough to deal with it. And most locals are staying home, like they were told and would rather miss out on a little extra summer cash to keep their families safe. I will not be working a second job this summer and if I had a teenage child that was going to be working at a fast food ice cream place I wouldn’t let them work there this summer either. So I’d say many factors may be involved.

    Monday, Jul 6 @ 4:51 pm
  • Thomas

    Sorry to see them gone. I enjoyed the drive through as an alternative to driving all the way down to Dairy Queen.

    Also sorry that Coastal Provisions is out of business too. They offered such great food there.

    Tuesday, Jul 7 @ 3:43 pm