Sno Biz Re-Pete in Junction City

Sno Biz Pelican PetesBy Jason Roberts
Daily Union – Junction City, KS
August 1, 2009

As you walk across the dock, clutching the giant rope for balance, you would swear you just saw an alligator. A pelican flies overhead near a swath of palm trees and a pontoon boat waits for riders around the corner.

If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were wandering through a seaside getaway. Instead, you’re still in Junction City — specifically, at Pelican Pete’s sno-cone stand.

The establishment, which hasn’t served any flavored shaved ice in two years, re-opened for business July 17 and, according to owners Jeff and Kathy York, has been busy ever since.

“”We drove by almost every day waiting for them to open,”” customer Kim Zerr said, excited that her favorite sno-cone stand was open again. “”You get a lot for your money and the environment is nice.””

The business started in 1992 with a location on Grant Avenue before moving to the 103 S. Washington St. location in 1993. Pete’s signature collection of nautical accents wasn’t there initially, but grew with the business. “”We like to play in the yard,”Kathy said. “The people enjoy it. They come and they said they love the boat.”

The owners said they’re always on the lookout for new items to add to the yard.

“Sometimes we go down to Louisiana or Mississippi,” Kathy said. “The alligator came from Mississippi.”

“She goes to all the flower shows in Wichita and Kansas City,” Jeff added.

Pelican Pete’s prominent placement has helped the sno-cone place throughout the years. “We’re pretty lucky to have this location,” Jeff said.

“”We’ve been open so long, you see the kids born and you see them graduate,”” said Kathy, reflecting on the years. “It’s a really neat little process. You actually get to know some people so much, they’re almost family.”

Kathy said the decor makes it a popular family destination. “They kind of just forget where they’re at,” she said. “There’s a lot of laughter. Even in line, they’re talking and laughing.”

But the laughter stopped two summers ago, when the Yorks closed Pelican Pete’s to resolve some property issues.

“We’re so happy to be open,” Kathy said. The pair had planned to re-open for the July 4 holiday, but their freezer went out. “There’s always stuff going on.”

Next year, they plan to open earlier in the year. Until then, they’re open from noon to 11 p.m. daily until September or October.