Fifth Graders Join Protest Over Max’s Best Ice Cream’s Lost Lease

There’s also a Facebook page and a hashtag for the Glover Park store.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

It might not change a thing, but Glover Park residents are at least getting to vent their emotions as they protest, in various ways, that the landlord for Max’s Best Ice Cream did not renew the lease and instead gave it to Max’s next-door neighbor, Rocklands Barbecue. The latest development comes at the hands of fifth graders, who staged a peaceable protest outside Max’s on Thursday afternoon.

The group of 15, who marched to the store with posters, are students from Benjamin Stoddert Elementary School. “Stoddert Peacebuilders is a group of students at the school who care about making the world a better place by planting ‘seeds of peace’ whenever and wherever possible,” says Steve Dingledine of the Georgetown Patch.

Rocklands opened at 2418 Wisconsin Avenue 23 years ago. Max’s opened next door 20 years ago. They coexisted nicely and basically offered customers near one-stop shopping—the main courses at Rocklands, dessert at Max’s. John Snedden, owner of Rocklands, has been candid in saying that over the years he always let the landlord—the Bassin family of MacArthur Liquors—know that if 2416 became available he would be interested in the lease. He says that when new lease negotiations with Max Keshani of Max’s stalled, the Bassin family offered the lease to him. And he took it. He plans to double the size of Rocklands, adding more seating, a bakery, and, he hopes, fresh custard.

Keshani, on the other hand, says his life “has been destroyed.” He blames Snedden. He did tell The Washingtonian that another landlord had approached him about taking a space across the street, “but I have no desire for another location.”

For now, there’s a protest hashtag, #SaveMaxs, and a Facebook page.

Snedden said he hopes to have the expansion work completed as soon as possible this summer.*

*This post has been updated from a previous version.