In towns across America, there's that one ice cream shop where everyone lines up on summer nights, hoping that the two dozen people in front of them have their order and money ready (they never do). In Bloomington, that place is The Chocolate Moose.
The tiny, old-school stand has a giant menu of homemade ice cream, soft serve and dairy-free flavors, served simply in cones or teased into shakes, floats, freezes, sundaes and parfaits. It's the kind of place where you might spend the entire time in line making a decision, and still not know your order when you get to the window.
The Moose's ice cream can be found at stores and restaurants in town, too. In fact, The Moose makes two varieties of spiked ice cream, just for Cardinal: Moscow Mule with our vodka, and one with our Songbird Craft Coffee Liqueur. We sell them both by the scoop and by the half-pint at the distillery.
We caught up with Justin Loveless, the owner of the Chocolate Moose, to get the scoop on this Bloomington icon:
CARDINAL: We are a long way from moose country. How did this Moose come to be?
JUSTIN: The original owners, the May family, built a restaurant in the ‘50s. Their son was not interested in the food industry, but loved the idea of homemade ice cream. When the Mays retired, they handed the restaurant to their son who opened it as an ice cream shop called The Penguin. Sometime in the ‘80s the May brothers sold the shop, only to buy it back a couple of years later. At that point they lost the rights to the name, and rather than spend extra money buying it back, they changed the name to The Chocolate Moose.