Business, Local News

Flossmoor Station caboose is back in the ice cream business

Ice cream is back in the Flossmoor Station Restaurant and Brewery caboose just in time for the heat of mid-summer.

At a ribbon cutting Thursday, June 29, for the reopening of the ice cream shop, FSRB co-owner Carolyn Armstrong said the ice cream machine that had helped make kids and adults happy during hot summer day for two decades broke down a few years ago.

“It was before the pandemic,” she said. “Our machine went out, and I ordered this one immediately. It took 2 1/2 years to come in.”

The new machine was imported from Germany.

From left, Flossmoor Trustee Brian Driscoll, Fire Chief Robert Kopec, Village Manager Bridget Wachtel, Fire Captain Matt Berk, Mayor Michelle Nelson, Flossmoor Station co-owner Carolyn Armstrong and Flossmoor Trustee Jim Mitros help celebrate the return of ice cream service to the Flossmoor Station caboose. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

After village officials helped cut the ribbon, Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson and Village Manager Bridget Wachtel were the first two in line to try out the new machine, each filling a cone.

Armstrong recounted the story of the installation of the caboose 23 years ago. Buying the old rail car proved to be the easiest and least costly part of the project, she said.

On the way to Flossmoor, the caboose was temporarily stored near Gary, Indiana, where it was used as a canvas for graffiti artists. It was brought to Homewood, where it was repainted before arriving in Flossmoor.

Armstrong said the installation took place on a Sunday, when there was no traffic on the tracks closest to the station. Two cranes were needed to lift the caboose and place it on its 8-foot-deep rock base.

Soon after the installation, the caboose was opened as an ice cream shop. It was outfitted to allow staff to serve beer several years ago. Beer will continue to be offered in addition to ice cream.

The caboose is open from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays during the summer months at 1035 Sterling Ave.

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