Sunday, December 17, 2006

Justin's Ice Cream on Main

More than just ice cream: New eatery opens in Monte Vista
North San Antonio Times - News
Wednesday, 28 June 2006
Those who have missed Justin’s Ice Cream on the Riverwalk have a new place to satisfy their palates: Justin’s on Main.

The new location of the family-run business on North Main and Woodlawn opened its doors May 23.

Justin Arecchi is not happy that his landmark ice cream parlor was forced to leave the Riverwalk after almost 25 years, but he has a vision for the bright, airy establishment he has set up in Monte Vista.

“We want to be a gathering place for people in the community, a place where people are entertained by the best entertainment in the world,” Arecchi said.

More than ice cream
Indeed, the new establishment promises to be much more than the local ice cream parlor. Justin’s already boasts a gourmet sandwich and coffee menu, an art gallery, a free library and a reading nook, and will soon serve up Wi-Fi and live music as well as beer and wine. Of course, the ice cream continues to be hand-crafted right in the store.

The eclectic new location is inviting and comfortable. With windows all around, the colorful large space includes two rooms with comfortable seating, an art gallery, a reading nook and a patio.

Patrons are sure to feel the Arecchi welcome with either Justin, Fiona, or one of the children offering a greeting from behind the counter. All four: Rena, 31, Justin, 21, Sarah-Jane 23 and even Giovanna, 12, have worked in some aspect of the business for long periods at one time or another, Fiona Arecchi said. Sarah-Jane’s husband, Shawn Smith, also works in the business full-time, she added.

Art gallery architect
Fiona Arecchi is the architect of the art gallery and was pleased how the new space ended up. The family already has several exhibitions planned for the summer.

“We wanted a cross between a European and Greenwich Village ambiance, so the art gallery was a natural thing to do,” Fiona Arrechi said. “We plan to give exposure to local artists.”

The free library is just another expression of the Arecchi family’s passions. “We love to read, so the free library is a way to share that with everyone,” Arecchi said. People can can borrow the books and return them or replace them with another book.”

Historic preservation
The new location follows another of Justin Arecchi’s passions: historic preservation. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Arecchi chaired San Antonio’s historic commission. The Windows on Main project is the renovation of a commercial area in a historic district, which makes it a perfect fit for the new shop, Justin Arrechi said.

“I’ve been involved with historic preservation and neighborhood associations for years and I’m excited to have the opportunity to be here and bring what we did on the Riverwalk to the people who live here,” Arecchi said.

There [was] a grand opening at Justin’s on Main on July 27, 2006 to celebrate both the new digs as well the family’s 25th anniversary making ice cream. Justin’s is open every day from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., except Fridays and Saturdays, when it stays open until 10 p.m
[Photo caption]Justin Arrechi (left), and his wife Fiona have opened the new Justin's on Main in Monte Vista.Also part of thefamily business are their children, Giovanna and Justin Jr.

By Angela Covo Contributing Writer