Chicago/ Food & Drinks
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Published on May 29, 2024
Iconic Chicago Ice Cream Stand 'The Freeze' to Be Revived by Hogsalt HospitalitySource: Google Street View

Chicago's dessert landscape may be getting a sprinkle of nostalgia, as Hogsalt Hospitality's Brendan Sodikoff has confirmed plans to resurrect the iconic neighborhood ice cream stand, The Freeze, alongside a new outpost of the popular burger spot, Small Cheval. The Freeze, which had been serving up sweet treats for 73 years before shuttering last year, is set to make a comeback at its long-standing location at 2815 W. Armitage Avenue, as reported by Eater Chicago.

While the original ice cream parlor was a summer staple, the revamped version, dubbed The Freeze 2.0, plans to stay open even during the frosty winters. Sodikoff aims to maintain the venue's vintage charm, with the familiar offerings of soft-serve ice cream expected to return. Though the full menu details remain under wraps, Sodikoff intimated to Eater Chicago, "The offerings will be inspired by the original and use the same soft-serve machines." Yet, whether the relaunch will include boozy shakes or a liquor license has not been disclosed.

Not just a single-story affair, the overhauled structure is slated to rise with an added second floor, increasing its presence on a block known for its culinary variety. Along with indulgent ice cream, the spot will be equipped with a new pickup window, string lights, and wooden benches that have become synonymous with the Small Cheval brand. The ninth location of Small Cheval within the same walls will also dish out its famed burgers, fries, and shakes, according to Eater Chicago.

Architectural plans that leaked and then were taken down showed concepts of a renovated venue ready to operate all year with an expanded kitchen and a patio, information that was later unearthed by Block Club Chicago. The designs also hinted at the addition of customer bathrooms, which The Freeze historically lacked, and alterations to the walk-up window to improve customer service flow.

Zoning applications filed with the city of Chicago suggest that the renovation includes a one-story addition alongside the mentioned new amenities. The future of The Freeze and its ice cream heritage had been cloudy after Tony Zarcone, the previous owner and local firefighting hero, sold the joint and retreated to a sunnier life in Florida. "I’d love to see ice cream come out of this place again … but I don’t know," Zarcone told Block Club Chicago. Thankfully for longtime fans, Sodikoff seems keen on keeping the sweet dreams alive.