Herschel’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor is as enticing on the outside as the treats it holds inside.
Owner Eric Jacobsen said the facade is the first thing he put up.
“I wanted the outside to be appealing first,” Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen said he pays attention to small details that add to the environment inside as well.
Vases with red carnations sit atop each table, and the aroma of the freshly-made waffle cones greets customers as they walk through the door.
The kitchen, including the grill and old-fashioned soda fountain, is fully visible to patrons.
While the building space was being transformed into a ’50s-era diner, Jacobsen spent some time researching recipes and selecting ice cream.
He had willing research assistants in his children, Tanner, 14, Noah Dawn, 11, and Isabella, 9.
They drove all over the state looking for the best tasting ice cream, Jacobsen said. What they found was that some companies made certain flavors better than others.
As a result, Herschel’s offers ice cream from several different sources, including Tillamook, Umpqua and Blue Bunny.
Licorice is one of the best sellers, even though it turns the ice cream eater’s tongue black, Jacobsen said.
Ice cream is only part of what Herschel’s offers. In keeping with the era of the shop’s design, Herschel’s has a menu of burgers, fries and specialty sodas and floats.
“The mile-o-mint shake is what got me started,” said Kyle Shelby, who now works behind the counter.
Shelby was a culinary arts team leader at Philomath High School. He said he started working on recipes for Herschel’s before he even started working there, helping to develop a mushroom sauce.
All the food on menu is made in-house, including the sauces.
“Food has always been a passion of mine,” Shelby said. “As long as I know I’m making good food, I’m happy.”
Jacobsen’s favorite dish is the Herschel’s hinge burger.
It is served on a kaiser roll that is not sliced all the way through, leaving a hinge in the bun to help keep the ingredients together.
All the burgers are made this way and adorned with an American flag toothpick.
Jacobsen was in the Air Force for six years, and other members of the Herschel’s team also are veterans.
“My wife’s grandfather (for whom the shop is named) was a veteran and part of the greatest generation,” Jacobsen said.
The shop is planning a grand opening soon, but has gained a customer-base since the soft opening on Feb. 14.
“I’ve never seen someone come here just once,” Shelby said. “There are quite a few regulars that are definitely characters, but we’re all characters.”
Herschel’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor is located at 638 S. Main St.
The shop opens at 11 a.m. and stays open until 7 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday, until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and until 6 p.m. on Sunday.