Freeze Frame at Union Dairy Ice Cream Parlor in Freeport
At the corner of Douglas and Adams in downtown Freeport stands the Union Dairy Ice Cream Parlor, a popular stop for old-fashioned ice cream sodas and other treats since 1914. From 51 flavors of ice cream available every day to the famous homemade German chocolate cake, it’s easy to see why people keep coming back to the Union Dairy. Much of the food is sourced locally, from meat and cheese from Springbrook Cheese Factory to Mrs. Mike’s potato chips.
“We take pride in keeping things as much Freeport as we possibly can,” says Freeport Mayor Jodi Miller, who is also co-owner and manager of the Union Dairy. “It’s really fun to be able to see the older generation that comes in, and they bring with them their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and they talk about when they used to work here and when they were a kid it used to cost them a nickel to come in and get an ice cream cone.”
Miller says they keep the memories alive with stools around the bar where customers can still watch the soda jerks making ice cream sodas and other treats just like they did years ago.
“The Union Dairy is really a tradition in Freeport. It’s a destination spot that people enjoy coming to so they can watch, be a part of and enjoy conversations with other people and listen to old music – the ’50s music is constantly playing – just to come and build your own memories,” Miller says.
If You Go...
The Union Dairy Ice Cream Parlor
Address: 126 East Douglas, Freeport
Phone: (815) 232-7099
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Summer Hours: (Memorial Day to Labor Day): Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week