Come March, the wild flavors of MURL will be muted by the lemon, cherry, chocolate and pineapple water ice served up by John’s Water Ice, a 64-year-old historic institution in the South of South Street neighborhood.
While Rita’s Water Ice has taken America by storm with over 500 locations and almost 20 flavors including mint chocolate chip and iced tea, John’s Water Ice on 7th and Christian streets remains traditional with four iconic homemade flavors prepared with the basics; fresh fruit, sugar, water and ice in the family’s secret recipe. Although, according to the official John’s Water Ice website, they do mix it up a bit, so to speak. During peak months (June through August) in addition to the four traditional flavors, John’s will also feature weekly special flavors including bubblegum or pear.
Currently operated by founder John Cardullo’s grandson, Anthony Cardullo, he is the third generation Cardullo to enter the family business.
At the northwest corner of Christian Street the small front is easily missed with just a thin landscape sign and miniature plastic water ice cup emblazoned on the marquee. For locals though, it’s a staple of the summer months. Beyond the landscape sign and miniature cup, red tri-fold doors open up to a sticky oasis of cherry covered floors and rubber mats glued to the cement floor by sugary syrup. Behind the main coolers, buckets are filled with sanitized scoopers ready to slice into a freshly made batch of the infamous creamy pineapple water ice.
Sealed up for now, in just three to four weeks, John’s Water Ice will be open for business. While we can’t say that our Spring semester enrollment and John’s discovery were conscious efforts on our part, it sure is going to make March through May and MURL crunch time that much sweeter.
By Gabrielle DiPietro, John Casey and DaVonne Armstrong - Group 16, South of South Street