‘Goff’s isn’t going anywhere without a fight’: Fire damages landmark Orlando ice cream shop

ORLANDO, Fla. — Regulars at Goff’s Drive In will be disappointed when they stop by for their daily ice cream fix on Friday.

The Orlando institution, in business for 74 years as of next month, was damaged by a fire Friday morning.

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“We have customers that are here every day,” owner Todd Peacock said. “It’s going to be heartbreaking when they come by today, maybe they’ve already seen. But we’ll come back.”

Peacock, whose grandparents bought Goff’s from its original owners in the 1970s, said the inside of the shop is blackened by smoke and flames, but said it’s nothing he won’t be able to rebuild.

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The shop posted on social media to let customers know they’d be closed with a picture of a stack of bananas, their peels blackened by the fire, and a caption reading in part: “Goff’s isn’t going anywhere without a fight.”

It’s not the first time in the business’ more than half a century of existence that it has had to rebuild.

During the civil rights movement, Peacock said Goff’s refused to enforce segregation.

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“Everyone same window, everyone same water fountain,” Peacock said.

In return, the family believes the shop was firebombed by the KKK, who blew up the back corner of the store.

And just earlier this month, Peacock said surveillance footage showed someone busting holes in the back of the store.

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Peacock said he patched those holes and kept the business open. This time, the store will be closed to repair the damage done as fire investigators determine what caused the blaze.

But Peacock promised the Orlando landmark will be back serving the community soon.

“We’ll rebuild and come back stronger,” he said.

Photos: Fire damages landmark Orlando ice cream shop Goff’s Drive In

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.