MONTROSE – Good old-fashioned ice cream parlors, although not as common as they once were, can have the power to take you to a different time and place. The new Main Street Ice Cream Bar in downtown Montrose does just that, with help from antique furnishings, decor and cool cream treats.
Owner Kellie Hartman opened the bar July 1, just in time for the summer heat, at 345 East Main St. next door to the local Great Harvest Bread Company franchise that Kellie also owns and operates with her husband, Kevin.
"We were hoping to fill a little niche downtown. We're trying to be as vintage as possible," Hartman said.
Servers in paper hats and red bow-ties serve up cold ice cream, handcrafted sodas (with paper straws!) and sundaes with dozens of toppings from behind their antique ice cream fountain dating back to the 1940s.
The fountain was originally installed in the Dunbar Rexall Drug Store in downtown Delta in the 1940s. When the Rexall store closed, the fountain was moved to the nearby Comet Drug Store. The Hartmans were able to purchase the fountain, and have now installed it in the same space that once was the Busy Corner Pharmacy in downtown Montrose.
Hartman was inspired by a time when she and her grandparents would go out for ice cream sodas, a treat she says younger generations are missing out on.
"Back in the day, there were maybe three ice cream stores," Hartman said of downtown Montrose. Not any more. "I don't think there has been a ice cream store downtown since maybe the 1980s.”
The fountain came complete with the store’s original spinning stools, counter and the fountainette that stores all the ice cream. Vintage signs and decorations from the Comet and Busy Corner are also on display.
Hartman said the menu is mostly old-fashioned ice cream parlor favorites, but that many of the old standbys, although with a twist – like the "Mr. Potato Head" sundae, made of vanilla ice topped with peanut butter sauce, caramel whipped cream and potato chips.
More signature sundaes include the Comet Drug, Black Canyon, Busy Corner and the Delta Dunbar, named after the former Delta drug stores and soda fountains.
"We’re just trying to bring back that old-fashioned kind of feeling, and create a place where you can bring the family," Hartman said.
Hartman said all the syrups, sodas and ice cream are made with local ingredients, and the cream is supplied by Rocking W Dairy in Olathe.
"We're trying to use as much Colorado as we can," Hartman said, noting that many chocolate treats are made by companies in Denver and Boulder.
The Main Street Ice Cream Bar opened with help from the Downtown Development Authority and its program to provide low-income loans to help with building restoration.
It’s open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., and Sunday, 12-9:30 p.m.
For more information call 970/240-6969 or visit www.Facebook/MainStreetIceCreamBar.