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New Italian Ice Shop Opening On Bryn Mawr In Early June

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Photo: Tina’s Italian Ice FB

Consider the Sarros family’s participation in a Lakeview street festival this weekend to be a preview of what will soon be regular fare at Tina’s Italian Ice, a new, not-yet-opened store at 1050 W. Bryn Mawr in Edgewater.

The 850-square-foot store should open within the first 10 days of June and replaces what had been a florist shop. It’s owned by Alex Sarros; his son, Andrew Sarros; and his daughter, Joanna Mungia. The shop is named after Andrew Sarros’ daughter, Tina.

“I have experience in the restaurant business for 30 years,” Alex Sarros said on Wednesday. “This was a natural progression. We began business last year as a street festival company, and so we are in festivals in this area. We were a vendor at an event in Edgewater last year, and we like the area so much that we found a store.”

Early samples of the Sarros family’s eight flavors of Italian ice, three types of popcorn made on site, three different varieties of nuts with caramel corn, and three different types of nuts covered with dark chocolate, will be on hand at the Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest on Saturday and Sunday. The family will participate in nine different street festivals in this area this year.

It takes about 20 minutes to make a three-gallon container of a certain flavor of Italian ice, all but two of which are made with fresh, seasonal fruits, Alex Sarros said. These include lemon, cherry, mango, strawberry, citrus blast (a blend of lemon, lime and grapefruit), and blood orange. Watermelon is an occasional flavor, as well. The two Italian ice flavors that are not made with real fruit are the blue raspberry and chocolate. They are made with syrup.

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Photo: Tina’s Italian Ice FB

Similar to the display and dispensing of ice cream, Tina’s Italian Ice will have a refrigerator display case that customers can view to select their desired flavor. While the process used to make Italian ice might look similar to the process used to make ice cream, the details matter. The ingredients alone are proof enough that the two are actually different.

“We scoop it out, just like ice cream, (but) it’s a mixture of purified water, pure cane sugar and fresh fruit, which is mashed and blended together in a machine,” Alex Sarros said. 

Tina’s Italian Ice will also sell its own buttered popcorn, caramel corn, cheese corn, and what it calls the Edgewater Mix, which is similar to the Chicago Mix of cheese and caramel. Additionally, it will sell pecans with caramel corn, almonds with caramel corn and cashews with caramel corn, as well as the same three different types of nuts with dark chocolate covering.

Those who would like to purchase popcorn to take elsewhere will be able to choose from a variety of sports-themed tin cans featuring teams like the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago White Sox.

The store will have a mixture of full- and part-time employees.

“We will probably have four employees plus my daughter and me,” Alex Sarros said. “My son works elsewhere. He will help us on the weekends.”

For more information, visit Tina’s Italian Ice’s Facebook page.


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