By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Growing up, Katie Entwistle-Eddy knew if she wanted a cold treat on a hot summer day, Mr. Shake on Route 28 was the place to go.
“This place has been here for more than 30 years,” she said. “Whenever my family went out for ice cream, we came here.”
Later, she got a job there.
And, in 2015, her parents Jim and Beth bought the ice cream parlor and mini golf course from owner Rich Hiltz. “I worked here for so long that it made sense for me to run it,” said Katie.
Though Hiltz used homemade ice cream, Entwistle-Eddy switched to Perry’s, Turkey Hill and Gifford’s ice cream to expand the flavor options – and offerings.
“We make our own waffle cones, so we do a waffle taco sundae,” she said. “Your choice of ice cream, plus two toppings.”
You can also get a cold one for your faithful friend: a scoop of soft vanilla with a dog bone.
On average, Mr. Shake goes through 200 gallons of soft-serve a week, including wild flavors like pistachio and orange creamsicle, plus 45 gallons of hard ice cream over 15 flavors.
But you don’t just go for ice cream – once you finish your cone, you can play a round of mini-golf on one of the newest courses in the county. “When we bought it, we demolished the old course,” Katie said. “We had it completely rebuilt.”
The new course, she said, even features a waterfall.
Mr. Shake isn’t the only ice cream parlor to get a makeover lately.
The Cooper Barn, also on Route 28, in Hartwick Seminary, formerly the Penguin, got a fresh coat of paint and two new owners, Trish Rost and Bob Snyder.
“I’ve lived in Cooperstown my whole life,” said Snyder. “When I was a kid, I used to get the Dirty Bird from the Cooper Cabin – chocolate, hot fudge and malt.”
Now, he’s trying to bring that back as the Cooper Cabin kicks off its first season under their ownership. “The ice cream has always been fantastic, and we wanted to keep it the same,” said Rost.
The Cooper Barn specializes in a custom blend ice cream. So, starting with a chocolate or vanilla base, you pick from up to three of 32 mix-ins – fresh fruit, real candy and toppings – and you’ll never run out of new flavors to taste test.
“Someone ordered peppermint, root beer and strawberry,” said Rost. “That seemed weird to me, but the customer seemed to enjoy it!”
If you’re indecisive, you can pick from one of their recipes, including Fluffernutter (vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, marshmallows and Butterfingers) or the Salted Caramel Cookie (vanilla ice cream, caramel, shortbread, sea salt).
“Our ice cream has a high cream content, so it gives people that taste of hard ice cream, but the texture of soft-serve,” said Rost. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
They offer any of the blend-ins in a milkshake as well, and also added food to the menu – hot dogs, nachos and soft pretzels – as well as games on the lawn. “People can relax, play a round of cornhole and enjoy some ice cream.”
In Oneonta, the Lizard Lick is open for its first summer. “Our ice cream is a little more unique,” said proprietor David Zummo, who also owns the Latte Lounge. “We use Gilligan’s Island, but we asked them to add additional heavy cream in our product,” he said. “Our soft serve is 12 percent custard base, not an ice cream base.”
And while the Latte Lounge’s oversized M&M cookies are a popular seller, the Lizard Lick takes them one step further with the Cookiewich, with either chocolate or vanilla soft-serve filling.
Zummo also play on his well-known coffee brand with an Espresso Milkshake. “You get espresso chip ice cream in a milkshake, then add a shot of espresso,” he said. “It’s really good.”
Built in the old NBT building, the Lizard Lick offers the only walk-up or drive-thru windows, with tables out front to sit, plus sandwiches and burgers, including lamb and salmon burgers.
“It’s a fun business,” said Rost. “I love passing the ice cream out the window and seeing that delight.”