"At dusk in the Windy City, head to Buckingham Fountain to be there when it lights up," DeCarlo says. "Enjoy the cooling spray, then walk over to the Bobtail Ice Cream Co. (actually, two separate kiosks in the fountain's plaza) for Grandpa Wilcoxon's Signature Sunset: Merlot ice cream studded with chocolate chunks. Eat it on the patio overlooking Lake Michigan, the Chicago skyline and Millennium Park."
On the southern edge of Lakeview, the Broadway outpost of Bobtail Ice Cream
(2951 N. Broadway, 773-880-7372) is a great little spot for a sweet treat - Bobtail produces a number of tasty flavors, from merlot (try it with dark-chocolate chips) to peanut-butter-chip. Bobtail has four locations around the Chicago area, including two branches in Grant Park.
This Lakeview ice cream parlor harks back to the old days with bobtail-wielding soda jerks and classic soda fountain favorites. Hard scoop ice cream is made on-site in a viewable glass-encased factory. Choose from 19 flavors, including choices like the "signature sunset," merlot ice cream with dark chocolate chips, and the "Daley addiction," with vanilla ice cream and butter fudge swirl. Belly up to the counter or take your treats to go. The lineup also includes choices like pastries, shakes, floats and sundaes.
Need caffeine to counteract the turkey tryptophan after your Thanksgiving gorge fest? Make way to Bobtail Soda Fountain for a pumpkin ice cream latte ($2.95 small; $3.95 large). This beats that Starbucks stuff: For froth, the jerks at Bobtail (their term, not ours) steam a scoop of house-made pumpkin ice cream rather than plain ol' milk and flavored syrup. Now, that's a jolt. Chris LaMorte is the metromix dining producer.
The owners of Bobtail Ice Cream Company have opened a seasonal location at the southeast corner of Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.
This outpost offers a daily lineup of about 8 hard-scoop ice creams including flavors like choices like the "signature sunset," merlot ice cream with dark chocolate chips, and the "Daley addiction," with vanilla ice cream and butter fudge swirl. Most of the popular Bobtail ice cream concoctions are available here as well, including turtle sundaes and root beer floats.
This location is a walk-up window only; you'll have to take a seat in Grant Park.
Time out Chicago
An election you can really sink your teeth into Posted in Restaurants and bars by David Tamarkin on April 23rd, 2008 at 5:27 pm
If the media will let you forget about Obama, Hilary, McCain and Nader for a second (yes, I said Nader—what, you didn’t know?), you might have time to participate in yet another election: Bobtail Ice Cream Company has just announced that this summer’s flavor contest is getting all presidential and shit, complete with primaries, stump speeches and, um, sprinkles? Okay, so these analogies aren’t really working…let me get to the details. Starting May 1st you’ll be able to nominate any flavor you can come up with at any Bobtail store (good luck coming up with something better than last year’s). Bobtail will sift through these nominations (the primaries, if you will) and pick two flavors to make and sell in their stores. The creators of each flavor will be given an opportunity to hold a rally at one of Bobtail’s stores, and the flavor that sells the most from June 5–July 11th wins.
As interesting as the presidential election? Maybe not. But considering how negative things are getting out there, it should be a nice change of pace. Because if anything, Bobtail’s election will definitely be—wait for it…wait for it—sweet
Variety really is the spice of life - especially when it comes to ice cream flavors! Bobtail Ice Cream Company has a selection that is sure to please with its vast assortment of flavors and variety of cones. If you’re in the mood to be decadent, pile on colorful candy toppings and crunchy sweet treats that will satisfy the sweetest sweet tooth. Dig in to an ice cream cake for special occasions like birthdays, and make sure you try Bobtail’s very own homemade flavors. So much to choose from, so little time!
Q: Where in Chicago can Daley’s Addiction share the table with a Lakeview Barhopper?
A: Bobtail Ice Cream on Southport!
Bobtail Ice Cream offers a handful of ice cream flavors as well as creative coffee drinks at this packed location on the Southport corridor. They don’t have the richest ice cream we’ve ever tasted, but we love their inventive flavors and the atmosphere is perfect for families. Daley’s Addiction is vanilla with just the right amount of buttery fudge; Lakeview Barhopper give you chocolate with a hint of Jack Daniels. As you know, the actual barhopper doesn’t taste nearly as good. Bobtail has two new rotating flavors; we loved our hefty single scoop of chocolate oreo for $2.69, which tasted just like dunking Double Stuffs in chocolate milk.
Most kids’ items are a reasonable $1.99, including single scoops or milkshakes and hot chocolates or steamers for those inevitably colder days. We’ll be back when those come around to check out their coffee concoctions, some of which ingeniously combine ice cream with caffeine. There’s plenty of space with their indoor and outdoor seating to bring your stroller, and they have a handful of highchairs. Games and books are stacked on a bookshelf; you can enjoy your sundae with your child over your favorite chapter of Harry Potter or a game of Chutes and Ladders. Peruse their bulletin board for its share of kid-related postings: tutors and babysitters are among those who place ads here. There’s even a changing table in the bathroom, a rarity and a godsend.
Bobtail prides itself on its commitment to local schools. Their “Building Blocks” program attempts to encourage students through tempting incentives (free ice cream for each teacher-approved book report!) and even gives donations directly to the schools themselves. Maybe it’s because we used to teach that we’re suckers for local businesses giving back in this way; it will keep us patronizing Bobtail over similar ice cream shops. That, and their delicious, funky flavor!
Leave it to Bobtail Soda Fountain to incorporate beer into its ice cream. After all, this spot already offers flavors with hints of merlot (the Signature Sunset) and Jack Daniel's (the Lakeview Barhopper). But we think the shop's finally outdone itself with its Guinness-infused St. Patrick's Day special. Remarkably, the experience of eating a spoonful is similar to sipping an actual pint: There's a creamy start and a malty, hoppy finish that hits the back of the tongue. The main difference? Most of the alcohol's been cooked out of the brew before it's churned into ice cream. No problem: Just take some home, open a can of Guinness, and make an ice cream float.
Since 2004 this ice cream shop has been serving homemade treats in pleasantly quirky flavors. Specialty flavors, which can be served in a cup, cone or shake, include the Lakeview Bar Hopper, which blends chocolate with a dash of Jack Daniel's, and the Cubby Crunch, infused with chocolate chips, Oreo, toffee and rainbow sprinkles.
If you're trying to be healthy, the cappuccino yogurt is a smart, indulgent-tasting treat.
A small shop that's set up like an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. They have board games you can play while slurping up one of their terrific shakes. I get the Raspberry Truffle milk shake (delish!) but have been meaning to try the S-More Sensation. A perfect reason to return.
-- Jessica Sedgwick
If the days of trick-or-treating are behind you, it's good to know ice cream enjoyment is ageless. Homemade pumpkin-flavored scoops ($3.19 and up) are the flavor du jour. Just find a white marble-topped table while taking your licks and glean the sweet ice cream-centric decor that surrounds you.
If you want to drink your lunch without actually "drinking," head for Bobtail Ice Cream where you can savor Dutch cocoa ice cream blended with Jack Daniels. If you're driving, you might want to go lighter and opt for the Signature Sunset of Merlot ice cream with dark chocolate chips. Just for good measure you can finish with the Bobby Joe, a choice of ice cream, blended with espresso, and coffee.
Bobtail Soda Fountain is an old-fashioned treat as heavy on nostalgia as ice cream-topped Belgian waffles can be on your stomach. Serving the timeless ice cream concoctions of Grandpa Wilcoxon, grandfather of co-owner Jeff Wilcoxon, the Bobtail, like any soda fountain worth its frosty mugs, serves some lunch-type food, as well. Ice cream flavors include cookies and cream, peanut butter chocolate chip and, of course, vanilla. Stay up with water cooler chatter by sampling the much talked-about Signature Sunset, a merlot ice cream spotted with chocolate chunks. If you're curious to see how ol' Grandpa Wilcoxon's recipes play out in the kitchen, you can view Bobtail's next batch of ice cream being made through a glass window while slurping on your cone.
Bobtail Soda Fountain, at 2951 N. Broadway, has just opened and is vying for a share of the customers in Lincoln Park and Lake View who crave a premium, rich indulgence. Derived from the nickname of the handle on an old-fashioned soda fountain, Bobtail aims to provide the premier soda fountain experience, with the nostalgia and warmth of a classic hometown ice cream parlor, and yet with the sophistication, energy and quality of a contemporary café. Bobtail offers more than 20 classic, seasonal and locally inspired ice cream flavors, such as Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Signature Sunset (merlot ice cream with pieces of dark chocolate), that are created on-site in a glass-enclosed ice cream "factory." Other year-round treats include sweet Belgian waffles, muffins, Lavazza coffees and espressos, organic teas by Numi, fruit juices, homemade hot chocolates and hot-fudge fondue.
This update of the classic soda fountain offers a family-friendly place to indulge in ice cream, shakes, floats, sundaes, and café drinks. Bobtail offers about 20 ice cream flavors, all made on-site, some with localized monikers like the Cubby Crunch (vanilla, sprinkles, Oreo, chocolate chips, and toffee) and the Daley Addiction (vanilla with a butter-fudge swirl). For entertainment, board games like checkers, Scrabble, and Connect Four are available.
For obvious reasons, most businesses rate paying customers as their most important assets.At small firms, losing a single customer can spell doom. But small businesses have the ability to develop customer bonds on a level that most big companies can only envy. "The beauty of being a small business is you can cater to the individual customer," says Chris Hill, co-founder of Bobtail Soda Fountain, a coffee and ice cream shop on North Broadway. Mr. Hill and his business partner, Jeff Wilcoxon, try to differentiate themselves from the many chain restaurants in Lakeview by going to sometimes extraordinary lengths of customer service. When an elderly customer mused about how much she liked Bobtail's ice cream — and how nice it'd be to serve it to a friend in the hospital in California — Mr. Wilcoxon and Mr. Hill drove across town, picked up dry ice to pack the ice cream, and shipped it to the coast. They didn't make any extra money in charging her $10 for shipping and packaging, but they turned a customer into a regular. That's Mr. Hill and Mr. Wilcoxon's goal with everybody, and they figure more than 50% of Bobtail's clientele are returning customers.
"I'd rather have someone come in and buy a $1.25 cup of coffee five times a week than have someone come in and buy big once," Mr. Hill says.
Bobtail Ice Cream in Wilmette will take you back to the days of the ice cream parlor, with bobtail-wielding soda jerks and classic soda fountain favorites. They offer 19 “house” made hard ice cream favorites, as well as shakes, floats and sundaes. Bucking nostalgia a bit, they feature “signature sunset,” a merlot ice cream with dark chocolate chips. No ID required, but please eat responsibly.
The Savvy Gal
Summer is the ideal time to visit Bobtail Soda Fountain. Outdoor seating under the blue and white canvas, while teasing the sun with a concoction to repels the heat, brings its own pleasure. At Bobtail's, one lick of the "Lakeview Hopper" flavor will find you going back for more again and again. This hand mixed chocolate ice cream infused with Jack Daniels will surely make you happy!
Bobtail's doesn't just churn out ice cream for adults (the alcohol is not enough to give you a buzz). There is also a whole lot of gourmet ice for everyone, and on any evening, it's a common sight to spot people of all generations -- young mums with their critters, chatty teenagers, men from the bar down the street and older couples, all at Bobtail's for the same reason -- to enjoy a scoop of their favorite ice cream. The "soda jerks" who serve customers claim the seasonal flavors are by far the most exotic. In the summer, there are flavors like peach and mango, whereas in the fall they have pumpkin and cinnamon. Whatever you fancy, this classic ice cream parlor will whet your palette with its impressive roster of flavors.
New City Chicgo
Derived from the nickname of the handle on an old-fashioned soda fountain, Bobtail Soda Fountain offers the sweet, nostalgic charm of the classic hometown ice cream parlor topped off by the exotic sophistication of a contemporary urban café. Bobtail produces each homemade batch on-site and offers more than twenty classic, seasonal and locally inspired flavors. Unlike other ice-cream shops, Bobtail isn’t thwarted by Chicago winters.
Bobtail Soda Fountain is located in Chicago's Grant Park and is at the northeast corner of Buckingham Fountain. For spring you can taste their Guinness flavored ice cream. It's an ice cream flavor for those who love St. Patricks day and it's featured every Spring.
If the concierge told you that Buckingham Fountain is on, and if it's near 8PM, catch a cab to Grant Park, and head to the fountain. When night falls, the water dances and soars and is illuminated by lights. Celebrate a successful day in Chicago with an ice cream cone from the Bobtail stand near the fountain.
For crazy fancy concoctions like Merlot or Jack Daniel's, check out Bobtail.