From this neck of the woods

“Retro and authentic”: new shop in Eau Claire replicates an old-style ice cream parlor

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Hannah Angell

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From this neck of the woods

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

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Bridgeman’s Ice Cream has a history with Eau Claire, dating back to when the London Square Mall was open. Since the closing of London Square, Eau Claire has been without Bridgman’s  — and their wide selection of flavors — for almost 40 years.

“Mention the name Bridgeman’s and so many people will recall great memories over the years,” Roger Wrobel, the owner of The Danc’n Bean, said.

The latest scoop is that Bridgeman’s Ice Cream is back with more flavors, which are available only at The Danc’n Bean ice cream parlor – located in Eau Claire on East Hamilton Avenue – according to their website.

“The sundae cups remind me of scenes from a retro 60s movie — very authentic,” Jaya Larson, a second-year psychology student, said.

Customers can dine in or get it to go. The inside of the store resembles an old-style ice cream parlor where the sundaes are served in glass tulip glasses.

“Our special recipes create a smooth and creamy, not too sweet, not too heavy taste that only can be described as original,” Wrobel said.

The Danc’n Bean offers ice cream lovers a section of 25 different flavors, including older staples such as Cherry Nut, Peppermint Bon Bon or Rainbow Sherbet.

“Some of the favorites that have customers craving more are the Blueberry Cheesecake, Birthday Cake, Superman and Caramelicious,” Wrobel said.

The Danc’n Bean also offers 39 coffee drink flavors. Wrobel said he recommends trying the Affogato — ice cream with an espresso shot on top. Or he recommends The Danc’n Bean with two scoops of salted caramel espresso ice cream in a coffee cup filled with black coffee.

Wrobel said he started with Bridgeman’s in 1978, where he met his wife Rita. Now, The Wrobel family owns The Danc’n Bean, featuring Bridgeman’s ice cream, and the dance studio attached — Infinity Dance Center.

The opening of the Danc’n Bean means more to Wrobel than serving ice cream, he said. He opened The Danc’n Bean because he wanted to enhance the dance studio and give parents a place to wait for their kids who are in the evening dance classes — and to have a sweet treat.

He opened The Danc’n Bean because he wanted to bring back Bridgeman’s Ice Cream to the Eau Claire community, and Bridgeman’s has many great memories for the Wrobel family, he said.

He sees The Danc’n Bean continuing to expand its offerings in the future by adding its own on-site baked goods and many other treats, he said.

“For students we offer Wi-Fi and just a very nice atmosphere to study or just relax and enjoy a coffee and or treat,” Wrobel said.

The Danc’n Bean is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Angell can be reached at [email protected]

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