SCHERERVILLE | "The best ice cream place in the region" is going to open a second location at a former Dairy Queen on U.S. 30 in Schererville.
Dairy Belle, a region institution that's been dishing out dipped cones, banana splits and other traditional ice cream since the 1950s, should open in about two weeks at 2034 Austin Ave. in Schererville, which had been home to a hybrid Dairy Queen/Orange Julius for many years.
"We've been looking to expand, but hadn't found the location we wanted or that was up to our standards," Dairy Belle General Manager Nick Colao said. "We knew once the Dairy Queen closed and didn't reopen it was the perfect location."
Dairy Belle hopes to add even more locations in the future. For more than half a century, it's served hot fudge brownies, flurries and ice cream through a window at 7102 Calumet Ave. in Hammond. The original location by Edison Elementary School will remain open.
Long lines typically form outside in the summer. People have stories about the place, like how they used the bus fare their mom gave them to buy ice cream there and then walked home. Many online reviewers call the ice cream there the best in the region.
"What makes it so good is the fat content," Colao said. "It's richer and creamier and has a great flavor. You can tell the difference. It's real ice cream."
Dairy Belle is in the process of hiring about 14 workers for the Schererville location, which will be open until November this year and reopen in March. The new location has three or four tables that should be able to seat 20 to 25 people.
There's also a display counter for ice cream cakes, which should help make more people aware that Dairy Belle offers them, Colao said.
Like the Hammond location, the Schererville store will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week It will stay open about a month later than Hammond since it's already opening so late in the season, Colao said.
"A lot of the Schererville people have been very excited," he said. "We draw people from all over. It'll be nice for people from the Tri-Town to not have to come all the way to Hammond. We're kind of in the middle and should see people from the Crown Point/Merrillville area, too."