From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
Ted Drewes is a frozen custard shop in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The original St. Louis shop on Natural Bridge Avenue operated from 1930 to 1958. The Chippewa Street (designated as a section of historic U.S. Route 66) is open much of the year, the South Grand Boulevard location is open in summer. The Chippewa location is open until around midnight during the summer months. Both locations are extremely popular during the spring and summer months, and are a tradition for many after attending St. Louis Cardinals baseball games.
Unlike some other frozen custards, Ted Drewes offers only one flavor, vanilla, and adds other flavorings and toppings as ordered. Their custard has a rich flavor due to being made with both the traditional eggs and also with honey.
The shop may be best known for a specialty called a "concrete". A concrete is custard blended with any combination of dozens of ingredients, served in a large yellow cup with a spoon and straw. A concrete is blended so thick that the spoon does not fall out of the cup if turned upside down. Servers often demonstrate this before handing an order to the customer. Seasonal ingredients such as apple and pumpkin pie appear for a short period every year.
Ted Drewes started making frozen custard while with a carnival. The first fixed location was near St. Petersburg, Florida in 1929. The first St. Louis shop began serving in 1930 on Natural Bridge Avenue near Goodfellow Blvd. Less than a year later, it was moved further west. A second location was opened at 4224 South Grand Blvd. in 1931. In 1941 a third location opened at 6726 Chippewa Street, on one of the alignments of U.S. Route 66 through St. Louis. The Natural Bridge and Florida locations had closed by 1958.
For decades, the Grand Avenue location was the flagship store, serving what was then a densely populated urban area in the neighborhood of Dutchtown and adjacent to the neighborhoods of Tower Grove South, Gravois Park, Bevo Mill, Holly Hills, and Carondelet. Each year, it would open in April and close on October 31. The Chippewa location served as an outpost near the city limits for travelers heading to or returning from an Ozark weekend getaway. In those days it was open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
With some of the population shifting west in the city and to the suburbs, the Chippewa store became the flagship location. Its season extended to more of the year, while the shop on Grand shortened its seasonal operation. In the wake of the transition, the Chippewa Street store expanded its building and bought a neighboring property to accommodate parking. As dessert eating habits have continued to change, the Chippewa store has stayed open later in the year. It is now closed for the winter only during the month of January. The South Grand location now opens only for the summer months.
Ted Drewes, Jr., reports that he has fielded numerous requests to turn the small chain into a nationwide franchise, but has refused. Ted Drewes frozen custard is also available in St. Louis area grocery stores. The grocery-sold custard is available in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.