Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kreme Delite in Athens, Alabama: Historic 1950s Ice Creamery

I took these pictures a few months ago and they got lost in my camera for a while until I was downloading pictures today.  I grew up in Elkmont, Alabama but when I was very little my paternal grandmother lived in Athens, Alabama directly across the street from the Kreme Delite! She passed away when I was 5, but I have such distinct and fond memories of her holding my hand crossing the street almost every time I came over to go get ice cream.  

Kreme Delite is one of the most iconic places in Athens. I believe it opened in the early 1950s. I just love the neon sign. A better image of how awesome this sign is at night can be found on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/54031162@N00/1874556055    You cant' beat the prices here and they have the most amazing classic milkshakes, chili dogs, upside down banana splits (in cups), and soft serve ice cream, cherry cokes. 

One of the most interesting things about Kreme Delite is that it still has the segregated water fountains remaining on the side of the building. They were painted to match the building so they kind of blend-in in the picture. They no longer work, and of course the white/colored signs have long been painted over but it is still an interesting reminder of the history that this establishment has lived through. As I was editing this post, I had originally written how much I love the walk up windows instead of having a drive-through lane, and then I started thinking that the double windows is probably also a result of this establishment being built during segregation. I saw one online complaint about how  now they have a sign in one of the windows saying "no habla espanol".  Last time I was there, I did not see that sign but if they still have it up that makes me sad. You don't speak Spanish...... fine, but do you really need to post that?  That is not a good statement to be making in regards of the building's past.  Come on people.... it's 2011, learn about the history but don't repeat it!

 Regardless of the possible sign, if you are ever in Athens, AL near the square and the beautiful historic courthouse... I urge you to go a few blocks over and try the iconic Kreme Delite at 401 W. Washington Street.  I sometimes get irrational cravings for one of their cherry milkshakes and a chili dog all the way with onions and mustard! 

1 comment:

  1. Chili dogs are the best!! I was taken aback with your story regarding the seperate drink fountains. Seriously what were people thinking not so long ago if you think about it. I only moved to the States in 2000, so I find it hard to believe something like that could actually be allowed to take place.


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