The rumors are true. In mid-July Santa Barbara’s iconic ice cream brand, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, will debut its inaugural, flagship ice cream parlor at 728 State Street, formerly Java Jones and Espresso Roma Café. After a nearly forty year absence from company-owned retail scooping, the new parlor will be located less than a mile from both McConnells’ headquarters (which opened in 1949 at the corner of State and Mission Streets) and The Old Dairy where, to this day, McConnell’s continues to produce its award-winning ice creams.
The new parlor will feature McConnell’s popular ice cream flavors, such as Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Dark Chocolate Paso Brittle, Coconut Almond Chip, Salted Caramel Chip, and Turkish Coffee. I am told that the new location is a reinvention of everything one would expect in a corner ice cream shop, from the parlor’s machinest look & feel, to its coffee program and dessert offerings, from fresh-from-the-oven ice cream sandwiches, to seasonal Farmer’s Market sundaes and shakes. The eatery will also include “secret,” off-the-menu specialty items courtesy of in-house pastry chef Jordan Thomas.
“We’re a small company, but we have big dreams,” says husband and wife owners Michael Palmer and Eva Ein and partner Charley Price. “We want to make the world aware of how amazing and unique this ice cream really is, and we’d like to bring the McConnell’s experience that Santa Barbarans know and love to an even wider audience. Opening a new parlor here, in our hometown, seemed like a natural first step in the growth of our brand and we’re excited to continue McConnells’ legacy in the community with our fresh spin on the traditional American ice cream parlor.”