Stay Chill in 2020
Ice Cream Shops Serve Up Yummy Distractions
By Anita Bowser
The 2020 season got off to a bumpy start for many area ice cream shops when social distancing and pandemic concerns had an impact on operating hours and capacity limits. Fortunately for most ice cream vendors, customers are accustomed to walk up windows, outdoor seating, and drive-thru service. So, adjustments weren't so difficult for most ice cream lovers.
Join us here for a tour of local ice cream parlors. We challenge you to try them all before the season ends. Bon appetit!
322 Butler Rd, West Kittanning
For the past seven years, Kristin Hagofsky has been scooping fun and funky flavors at her brightly-colored ice cream shop in West Kittanning. KICK -- Kristin's Ice Cream Korner -- offers soft serve vanilla and chocolate and a changing selection of homemade hard scoop ice cream and frozen treats.
Regulars know Kristin is adventurous when it comes to flavor creations. She welcomes flavor suggestions and is willing to try just about any kind of ice cream. Think Ranch or Pickle flavors.
One of the most popular of KICK's nontraditional flavors has been Maple Bacon Bourbon, which Kristin likes to serve annually about half way through the season. It's just one of many fan favorites at KICK.
Kristin says people seem to love anything with peanut butter. And, it's hard to keep Strawberry Pretzel Salad Ice Cream in stock.
My personal favorites are Shark Attack -- an aqua-tinted ice cream with red raspberry swirls and white chocolate bits; Peanut Butter Explosion; and Allman Brothers Joy.
Taster spoons are always available, and guests are encouraged to try new flavors. Hard ice cream flavors change from week to week, and following KICK on Facebook is a good way to keep track of changes.
The shop serves a variety of sundaes and shakes. The Cake Batter KICK Shake has been a customer favorite for a couple of years. And, people look forward to ice cream pies, which can be ordered later in the season (generally around the holidays).
12-9 p.m.Tues-Sun; 4-9 p.m. Mon (Present Hours)
12-10 p.m. Daily (Summer Hours - starting soon)
KICK typically remains open until November or December, depending on the weather. Guests should watch Facebook for details.
Widnoon Soft Serve
911 Mahoning Rd, Templeton
12-9 p.m. daily
If you’re passing through, the ice cream shop in Widnoon is a great place to stop. If you’re not passing through, it’s worth the trip. The shop, which has been under present ownership for four years, stays open until the end of September.
The most popular flavor is Peanut Butter Ice Cream. And, visitors love the Ice Cream Nachos, which are piled high with the ice cream flavors and toppings of choice. This treat is totally customizable and can mimic any of the shop’s sundaes or tornadoes. Guests can choose from flavors like Chocolate Over-Load, Reese's Cup, and Strawberry Cheesecake.
For flavor updates, follow Widnoon Soft Serve on Facebook.
1841 State Route 66, Ford City
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Thurs; 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Fri-Sun
About 50 years ago, the building that houses Myrt’s Café opened as an ice cream shop. Owners Ronni and Matthew Venturini say they feel they’re taking the place back to its roots.
For the past year, Myrt’s has served Sunny Rolls Rolled Ice Cream, named for the building’s original moniker Sunny Lane.
Guests can order at the walk up window and watch their dessert being made through closed circuit TV. The Venturinis call it “dinner and a show.”
Popular flavors include Oreo, Maple Bacon, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, Hot Fudge Brownie, Fresh Fruit and the flavor of the month. This month, it’s Peanut Butter and Pickle.
Jordan's Soft Serve
440 Butler Road, West Kittanning
11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Daily
Banana splits are the number one ice cream request at Jordan’s Soft Serve. Under the current owner, the shop has been pleasing local ice cream enthusiasts with hefty portions since 1981. Jordan's is expected to stay open until late October. The best way to find out about specials and flavors is by calling the shop. Follow them on Facebook as well.
Sweeties Ice Cream
6273 Leechburg Rd, Leechburg
12-9 p.m. Daily
The Yinzer Banana Spilt and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough are crowd pleasers at Sweeties. The shop has been dishing out ice cream for over 25 years and expects to be open until late September. For details, follow Sweeties Ice Cream on Facebook.
With apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone, here’s a list of other ice cream shops to include in your tour. Before visiting, contact each shop for hours of operation.
1000 Main St, Ford City
119 White Oak Rd, Rural Valley
3210 Route 28/66, Distant
13637 State Route 422, Kittanning
1805 Route 422 East, Fenelton
9 Franklin Village Mall, Kittanning
2130 River Rd, North Apollo
There you have it -- a tantalizing list of ice cream joints across the county. Try as many as you can and let us know what you think. Enjoy!
Anita Bowser is a writer and blogger from Butler. She’s a volunteer at Kittanning Library and has worked as a grant coordinator, reporter, copy editor, content writer and a library director. Her favorite past times include reading, writing and tasting ice cream flavors. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out more at www.anitabowser.com.