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.”

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  1. Jerry says:

    This sounds great! I pray they don’t have their business ruined by the hoards of “homeless” panhandlers that have become fixtures on State. If they have outdoor tables/sidewalk then I hope they are for paying customers. Love their ice cream and brings back old memories.
    I wish them the best!

    • Kristine says:

      I agree, Jerry. Sadly, I can’t take my kids to State St.
      anymore due to the aggressive panhandlers. Maybe McConnell’s would
      consider the safer locations of Goleta or Carp if they expand

  2. Amanda says:

    Yay!!! This sounds wonderful! Especially the ice-cream cookie sandwiches, yum yum. I am curious what their prices will be like (cheaper than the Mission store owned/ran by someone else?)

    Also- on the topic of the Mission St location- I can’t stand that the owner parks in the disabled parking access spot. You know, it’s the blue stripey area right next to the disabled space. It’s illegal to park there because disabled folks *need* the space to exit their cars!! The owner ALWAYS parks there and it drives me crazy.

  3. lemonjelly says:

    I love the idea of an ice cream parlor downtown. Remember Leatherby’s? Almost makes me want a banana split…okay, I’d rather have an ice cream sandwich!

  4. RexOfSB says:

    McConnell’s priced itself out of the market years ago, but of course the tourists on State Street are an easy shakedown and don’t know any better. I’d far rather have a Baskin-Robbins or someplace that doesn’t charge dollars (plural) for one scoop of ice cream.

  5. Mike says:

    Doing business on State street is wonderful. We’ve been down here for over 20 years. The fact that these posts reflect fear is sad. There is nothing to fear. The panhandling situation downtown is much improved. The police are doing an effective job shuffling them along to other areas and their presence has increased dramatically.

    You don’t have to give them money (please don’t), you can ignore them (best strategy), but try and have some empathy (please do).

    Downtown business is booming and the summer has just begun!

    Come on down to downtown!

  6. Carol DeCanio says:

    This is great news about my favorite ice cream! I can’t wait, and the (planned) atmosphere sounds perfect!

  7. Glenn says:

    I would say its a better scoop than Baskins Robbins though hence the higher price(and made in town!). I wondered why they did not have more stores. Looking at their website I never realized they had a shop in Ventura. They are throughout grocery stores etc though which probably explains why they have not opened up a ton of shops. I believe Sweet Alley scoops them at their shop.

  8. michele carbone says:

    Is it true that this new Mc Connell’s on State Street is NOT affiliated with the ice creamery of the same name on State and De La Vina?

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