Oak Park's Hole in the Wall ice cream shop opens

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By Jean Lotus

Forest Park Review Editor

News spread like lightning Thursday through south Oak Park on the playgrounds and through the Internet: Hole in the Wall is open a day early! Opening Day at the frozen custard stand at 901 ½ S. Oak Park Ave. is a harbinger of spring south of the expressway.

Owner Jane Ganz switched on the neon OPEN sign a day early after temperatures reached 81 degrees.

Friday, the crowds were still thronging to the converted gangway between two buildings (that's why the address is 901½) where chocolate-smothered sundaes and dip-topped cones were flying out the door.

The shop has been in business for 60 years and Ganz has owned it for more than a decade.

"We have the bus crowd, the pool crowd and the after school crowd," she told young reporters from Oak Park's Kidz Newz last summer. There's no seating, so ice-cream covered children perch on curbs, benches and in doorways.

Ganz closes shop every October to visit grandbabies in Texas. Throughout the winter, children and adults peep into the windows looking for signs of life. In February a sign appeared in the window: "Open March 16."

The shop also sells hot dogs and other lunch fare, but today when school dismissed, it was ice cream they wanted -- and customers lined up down the block.

Contributing reporters: Cole Tamongdon, Mary Lotus and Kidz Newz staff.

Reader Comments

14 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

mike  

Posted: September 2nd, 2012 10:37 AM

i like this place but it has not been there for 60 yrs as stated. i grew up 1/2 block away

mimi  

Posted: May 12th, 2012 10:27 PM

More for me. :-)

Mike Hawke  

Posted: May 12th, 2012 6:24 PM

I'm Mike Hawke, director of the PATIWTHITWIADFOK. People Against The Idiots Who Think Hole In The Wall Is A Danger To Kids Nan E. State, you are an idiot. Good day.

Silly  

Posted: March 20th, 2012 6:12 PM

Somehow I am waiting for the Village to get blamed here.

freespirit fail  

Posted: March 20th, 2012 5:43 PM

@freespirit can I suggest that you try the french vanilla and strawberry yogurt swirl at Hole in the wall? It is very good. But if you like Culver's and the fast food slop that they serve, then please by all means stay away from Hole in the Wall and take your nasty attitude tot he nasty food of Culver.

Freespirit  

Posted: March 20th, 2012 4:30 PM

Sorry but 'hole in the wall's Ice Cream is NOT that good. The food is horrible, won't eat their 'hard' hot dogs left over from the night before again. I'd rather go over to Culver's and get some really nice Ice Cream with normal seating, not plopped on dirty curbs or standing with people that can't even leave their pet's at home. I agree with Lori, they should be responsible with cleaning the sidewalk.

mimi  

Posted: March 20th, 2012 2:46 PM

Barb, read Nan's name again. I think he's joking, feebly.

Barb  

Posted: March 19th, 2012 10:17 AM

Everything in moderation, Nan. We swam like crazy and ran around and biked to and from Rehm pool in the '70s, stopping for a small cone with chocolate dip. And we weren't fat and we are still alive. Mom made sure we had our green beans.

Lori  

Posted: March 19th, 2012 9:19 AM

Since this is such an Oak Park institution that is well visited, I wish the owners would be considerate enough to rinse the sidewalk every night of all the sticky ice cream. That's the least they can do for all the money they make each summer. It's disgusting for us pedestrians!

Judy  

Posted: March 18th, 2012 9:02 PM

It's lightning. Lightening is what you do to your hair . Please do some editing before posting articles!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 18th, 2012 6:23 PM

Nan - take a really deep breath -- you are having a panic attack.

Nan E. State from Oak Park  

Posted: March 18th, 2012 6:13 PM

Childhood obesity is an epidemic in this country, and here is WJ celebrating and promoting a business that is making our kids fat! The WJ and it's readers should be clammoring to close this public nuisance down, and replace it with more healthy choices, such as an organic smoothie shop. For shame!

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 17th, 2012 9:43 PM

Always happy to see the "Open" sign!

Paul from Oak park  

Posted: March 16th, 2012 8:31 PM

To borrow a phrase from another prominent restaurant owner, I can only say, "Oh. My. God!"

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