Friday Flashback #238

The news that not one but two gelato shops are coming to Main Street is mouth-watering. They’ll be packed, and add plenty of life to downtown.

But they won’t be the first such places.

In 1954, the Ice Cream Parlor opened where Brandy Melville is now. It was an instant hit. Fred Cantor found this story from that year:

Several years later, the Ice Cream Parlor moved to Compo Shopping Center, where Cohen’s Fashion Optical is now. Its final location was on Post Road East just past Colonial Green, in what is now an office building.

Generations of Westporters remember the Ice Cream Parlor’s wrought iron chairs, penny candy, ice cream concoctions, and the “Pig’s Trough.” If you finished it, you didn’t have to pay. It was $69.95 half a century ago. That’s serious money.

A small portion of the Ice Cream Parlor menu. “The Pigs Trough” cost $69.95 — but was free if one person could eat it all in 3 hours. Above it was the “Staples Fruit Delight,” a large $2 sundae.

And of course, there was the menu, signed by everyone famous who ever enjoyed the Ice Cream Parlor.

Today’s kids are making their own childhood memories at Saugatuck Sweets — the modern-day Ice Cream Parlor.

Soon, we’ll add gelato shops to the mix. Here’s wishing them long, fruitful lives here.

And if they really want to win our hearts, they should add a Pig’s Trough.

9 responses to “Friday Flashback #238

  1. BEST Hot Fudge Sundaes ever!

  2. Barbara Stewart

    On LI at Jahns we called the Pig’s Trough the Kitchen Sink. Alas, it was giant—but not THAT giant. And never free to my memory. Another great column! Yum

  3. FOR ‘OLDIES’ WHOSE CHILDREN GREW UP WITH/IN THE ICE CREAM PARLOR, THIS MEMORY IS ONE THAT I CAN CONJURE UP IN A SECOND. ….IT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GREAT!

  4. Some of the signers of the menu include- Errol Flynn, Bert Lahr, Dorothy Gish, David Susskind, Gene Teirney, Frederick March, Jackie Robinson, June Havoc, Sonny Fox, Kirk Douglas, Shirley Booth, Sid Caesar and Eli Wallach.

    Can’t decipher many more!!

  5. Jocelyn Barandiaran

    Squinting, I think I also see John Cassavettes, Doris Day, Eva Marie Saint, and Lillian Gish. Where does this signed menu reside? Wish this were on exhibit somewhere in town!

  6. I see Dennis James, Henry Hull, Shelley Winters, Edward Arnold, Peter Lind Hayes, David Susskind.

  7. NO to mention David Wayne, Dr Carl Heines, Eva Marie Saint, Claude Rains?- and right above Frederick March is – Many Thanks!

  8. Carolyn Arnold

    Not sure I am remembering this correctly, but didn’t you get a free ice cream on your birthday?

  9. Linda Pomerantz Novis

    After I had my tonsils our,1966,Norwalk Hospital,my parents then brought me
    my favorite stuff from that place! – those miniature candy ‘waxy’ filled soda bottles-:-)– I still remember being so hoarse I could barely whisper ‘Thanks,Mom!’.. the story, apparently I then whispered ‘ Mom,give these to (my younger sister,)Nora because she likes them’. Mom & Dad were so touched;for years after, my sister & I
    laughed ‘how Noble I was!!! ‘:-)

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