Without Scottie Freeman, there would be no Fat Lenny’s.
His words, not ours.
Scott Pfeifer is the man behind the soon-to-open rainbow ice cream shop, Fat Lenny’s, at 2148 49th St. S. Previously, Fat Lenny only reigned in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Now, the Fat Lenny’s world headquarters is based in St. Pete.
“The people are different down here; people are a bit more open,” Pfeifer said. “We couldn’t leave it once we got here. What you see out there, the rainbow, the purple, we saw it and felt it as soon as we got here.”
The purple shop is slated to open in mid-March, but Pfeifer’s not doing it alone. The shop’s mascot, a grinning black and white sketched boy, is what Pfeifer calls his “alter ego.”
He refers to Scottie and himself as “we.”
“Every spiritual book ever written talks about ‘oneness’; if we’re all one, then everything we’re putting out is ego. We decided to give him his own name, his own persona,” Pfeifer said. “He’s an egomaniac.”
The cartoon character ran for Erie City Council in 2019 and wrote a scolding letter to the The Rotary Club of Erie before migrating to the Sunshine State.
The inspiration for Scottie, Pfeifer says, came to him at a Ween concert in Colorado in 2016.
“We had a vision of the shop next to our shop in Erie being a candy, toy and ice cream shop,” Pfeifer said. “The area we were in Erie was a very depressed one, and I wanted to bring another element to it.”
But not everyone wants to dive into ego death and the idea of singularity while they’re buying ice cream.
So, on the outside, Scottie Freeman is the funky, spunky character mascot for Fat Lenny’s.
Pfeifer’s ice cream shop won’t just sell cold treats; it’ll sell toys, Delta 8 products, candy, and anything else that strikes interest in St. Petersburg.
“It’s [Fat Lenny’s] an art piece,” Pfeifer said. “I’m a conceptual artist, and the entire world is a stage. Isn’t that what a performer does?”
The concept artist hopes to eventually host weekly pride parades. The parades will be a blend of marching and dancing across the street. And afterwards, free ice cream.
It’s all in the works, but one thing for sure: Fat Lenny’s will make a splash in the St. Pete scene.