And Here Is…The Ice Cream Parlor

Just as dessert is worth waiting for — so was this photo.

Since Sunday, “06880” has announced the opening of a new ice cream parlor in Saugatuck. Posted a Tracy Sugarman drawing of teenagers in the old Ice Cream Parlor. And added a menu, from the Westport Historical Society archives.

We searched all week for a photo of the iconic hangout.

Finally, we found one.

Ice Cream Parlor

This was the Ice Cream Parlor’s 3rd location, next to Colonial Green and across from the now-closed Getty station.

Nelson Morgan — a Staples Class of 1953 graduate, who calls himself a “Westport expatriate now living in Milford” — sent it along.

He said it’s from “the late 1950s or early ’60s.” I think it’s later. In the late ’50s and early ’60s, the Ice Cream Parlor was located first on Main Street (next to what is now Tavern on Main), then in Compo Shopping Center (the current site of Cohen’s eyewear store).

More telling is the sign above the door on the left. It read “The Rage Boutique/Clothiers.”

The shop selling “groovy” clothes was located underneath the Ice Cream Parlor. “Boutiques” were not “the rage” until the mid-’60s.

Penny candy and syrupy drinks in wax bottles upstairs. Fringe vests and go-go boots downstairs.

Was that a great place or what?

25 responses to “And Here Is…The Ice Cream Parlor

  1. Janice Beecher

    There was also a disco in the basement for a time in the mid-to-late 60s. Murray the K Dj’d and several really good local bands played there. I remember a certain band from Milford that I really liked, with Danny Gomes in it, but can’t remember the name of the band. Great place, great memories!! I also think the picture is probably from that time (mid-to-late 60s).

  2. I was a regular for many years in particular the summer of 1963 with my English au pair girlfriend Hillary who had never seen anything quite like it. At that time it was already in its last location. Great series Dan . Ed

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Owned by the Harrison’s I believe. Laura Harrison was in our class Dan.

  4. Thank you, Dan, for the unexpected credit and the date correction, too. I’ll confidently move the photo to our 1960s archive. My compliments to you for your solid knowledge of Westport history. Never having owned any “groovy” clothes, I had no recollection of The Rage.

    Nelson Morgan


  5. WOW yes! We all loved the ice cream parlor, originally ON MAIN STREET, with old iron parlor chairs. I had my first date there, ordered a soda (tho I thought it would be an ICE CREAM soda, it was just a colored, carbonated drink in a beautiful tall glass with straw)…and how we loved the PENNY CANDIES, such fun to select and pay for with weekly allowance or baby sitting earnings!

  6. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    I never had much use for the psychedelic clothing store downstairs. But then, I never had much use for anything psychedelic. Keep your head trips in your head. You are what you wear.

  7. Gloria Gouveia

    As a fledging fashionista in 1967, I can attest to the fact that the Rage was launched that year. I invested a fortune there in after-school job and babysitting earnings on a purple silk crepe buccaneer’s shirt and black wool elephant pants that I wore to the Cream’s Fairwell Concert.
    Equally memorable – the extra-ordinary patience of the owner/staff, who never raised an eyebrow at my weekly visits to try on every item of Carnaby Street-styled attire in my size, despite my limited purchasing power.
    All it takes is a few notes of the intro to the Door’s “Hello, I Love You” to transport me back to that purple haze.

  8. I could be wrong but I think Steven Tyler might have played in the basement with the Strangeurs / Chain Reaction around the time they opened for the Yardbirds at Staples.

  9. John Mingay, Staples '66

    Dan, are you meaning the Main Street location as the one that was almost across from the W. C. Playhouse next door to the marine supply store? That’s where it was in the 50’s and early 60’s. Isn’t that the Post Road?

    • No. First location (late 1950s) was Main Street, next to Chez Pierre. Then it moved to Compo Shopping Center (end, just down the hill from the Humane Society). Final location was on Post Road across from the Westport Country Playhouse, starting in the mid-1960s or so.

  10. We moved to Wspt in 1966 and I was almost 12. The whole peace love and tie dye thing was starting and I used to love going to that boutique and getting bell bottoms and groovy tops along with my love beads 🙂 Wasn’t there the Terpsichore disco downstairs first though? I remember buying a record in the shop upstairs in back by the Chain Reaction who had played there. One of the members was Steve Tallerico who now is known as Steve Tyler 🙂
    My dad would take me and my friends there for my birthday parties…I always wanted to do the Pig’s Trough for my party…This was one of my favorite places, growing up in Westport!

  11. What a great memory and that photo! Went there often. I remember those dancing girls in the cages too. Was that in the disco? I was too young to remember much about the layout of upstairs/downstairs but I remember peeking in and seeing those dancing girls in cages in go-go boots. But the Ice Cream Parlor — awesome place.

  12. Yes, Jill Turner Odice and William Adler and Gloria Gouveia! I remember crowded dancing to the music while girls danced in cages! It was very exciting and seemed SO sophisticated. I think my Dad dropped me off for a date to have ice cream, but it was really a date for the basement. Wonderful metaphoric memory! Thanks!

  13. Chip Stephens

    OK well done ALL , now can any one come up with a shot of the CREST DRIVE IN that was across the street where Playhouse Sq Someone must have a photo taken with their Kodak Brownie or Polaroid Swinger

  14. Hmmm, I remember the Compo Shopping Center location as being later than the Colonial Green location. It seemed that Compo Center was the Ice Cream Parlor’s last incarnation.

  15. My family moved to Westport in the spring of 1963. I do remember that it was in the Compo Shopping Center when I went there for the first time. The 1963 Westport phone book lists the Compo Shopping Center address and the ’64 phone book shows the address of the building pictured above, so I guess the move further west on East State Street happened in 1963. Great pic!

    • How strange the memory can be and how wrong. I was so sure that the Compo Acres Ice Cream Parlor came after the one in the picture. But…the phone book doesn’t lie. I guess being 14 and 15, I had other things on my mind. Yes it is a great photo. Very moody.

  16. Wasn’t the disco called Bunyan’s???

    • No. Bunyan’s was the restaurant that replaced the Ice Cream Parlor, I think.

      Sent from my iPhone Please excuse typos and brevity!

  17. didn’t they have a glass case for a mini head shop?
    I used to love buying cool clothes from there.

  18. Jill Christerson Lundgren

    Another warm and fuzzy place from childhood, what fun!

  19. Chris Carusone

    oh, how I’m enjoying all the comments about the Ice Cream Parlor. It was so much a part of my childhood. I have so many memories and stories I could write a book. You see, my Mom was a waitress there when I was in grammar school. All my classmates thought I was so lucky because I could get all the ice cream I wanted. WRONG ! I would walk there ( Main Street ) after school to wait until my Mom got out of work. Sometimes the “fountain boy ” would make a mistake on a ice cream sundae order so of course I would have to eat it. I told my mom that when I was sixteen I wanted to work there………and guess what……I did…..all through Staples and college. I could go on and on but I won’t at the risk of out staying my welcome. Oh, one last thing. Dan you are absoultely correct on the order of the locations.

  20. David Schaffer

    FWIW, my family moved to Westport in 1970 and it was at the location pictured above. We only went once and it closed within a couple of years of our moving there. Fun while it lasted! But that was the final location, not Compo Shopping Center, where I never saw it.

  21. Joseph Urciuoli

    I remember going to the original Ice Cream Parlor when it was on Main street. Westport was nominated one of the ” All-American Cities ” in a 1957 issue of LOOK magazine. I believe it ran a photo of the interior of the place. I also remember going to the Post Road location a few years in a row for the free ice cream sundae they gave on one’s birthday. Steve Dohanos, the illustrator, did a cover for the SATURDAY EVENING POST one time of the interior with dating kids on the stools. I recall several fashion shoots there as well. Joseph Urciuoli former Westport News and Westport Town Crier staff photographer.