Residents of the Butler-Tarkington area will soon have new food establishment to frequent. The historic Cincinnati-based ice cream shop, Graeter’s, plans to seek a zoning variance to take over the space located at 5560 N. Illinois St., formerly occupied by Curley’s Cleaners.
It will be the company’s first store in Indianapolis, let alone Indiana, and is expected to open toward the end of the year. For ice cream connoisseurs, this has to be welcomed news.
Graeter’s has quite a history too. The company served its first scoop of ice cream way back in 1870, when it was just a humble, start-up operation in Cincinnati, Ohio. Through the years, they expanded gradually, and now operate a chain of 31 stores located throughout Ohio, northern Kentucky, and soon, Indiana.
They have received some pretty high-profile press in recent years, having been featured on The Food Network and, most notably, the Oprah Winfrey show. In fact, it was a stellar endorsement by Oprah that ultimately brought down the local Cincinnati Bell phone switch, when on a live 2002 television broadcast she said, “You haven’t had ice cream till you’ve had Graeter’s. The butter pecan is Stedman’s favorite, and mine, too.” The testimonial resulted in close to 800,000 phone and internet orders.
Graeter’s is known for their slow, French pot batch process, which involves scraping the ice cream from the sides of a pot as it freezes. Slow, but apparently worth it as evidenced by the fact that the company regularly sells tens of thousands packages of ice cream per year.
While it’s a shame to lose Curley’s Cleaners, it’s nice to know it will be replaced with yet another fine establishment in the Butler-Tarkington area.