If you’re looking for a real “Jersey” ice cream place, how about a place with “Jersey” in its name? How about anyone who frequents Bruce Springsteen? How about one that serves not only great ice cream, but also burgers, sandwiches, and wings?
Jersey Freeze is located in both Freehold and Holmdel, where they recently expanded.
Some brief history from their webpage:
“Jersey Freeze was founded in 1952 by the Blackmore family. When Jersey Freeze opened its doors, there was primarily an ice cream parlor in Freehold, NJ. By the 1970s, the restaurant was a go-to for fast food and ice cream in the area.”
“Katie Dinonno started working at Jersey Freeze as a teen in high school and quickly became a manager after working there in the ’90s. In 2014, Katie and Matt bought the restaurant from Bruce Blackmore, who wanted to retire.”
I spoke with co-owner Matt Kangelosi about Springsteen’s long history with Jersey Freeze.
Bruce has been around since about 1965-1966 when he was a kid living down the street. He still talks about how the original owner saved all of his broken cones.
“Right now, we still see him a lot. When he comes he usually comes in groups, at least a few times a month when he’s around.”
And when Bruce comes, things happen.
“He tends to come early when we open around 11am. It’s funny because most of the kids who work here now are too young to recognize him as soon as he shows up. Last summer, he came over and forgot his wallet, the 16-year-old girl who works the counter is not She had no idea who he was. She took $5 from the tip jar and paid for his cone (she didn’t know it was Bruce) The next day he came back with a thank you card and $100 and left it for her. (We didn’t know this happened. We would never let our kids pay someone What, we will deal with the matter ourselves).
Then there are the people who know who it is.
“He was here in the fall and a customer rushed out of the lobby, across the parking lot, and knocked on his window to get a picture. And the picture ended up in the news. Most of the time the interaction was fun with customers asking for pictures. However, he’s part of that community And he’s there often, so I think he comes a lot because no one bothers him and he can enjoy his ice cream cone or shake it.”
Then there was the Jon Bon Jovi scene
“Bon Jovi showed up in the summer of 2020. We had someone control the door and the line at that point due to COVID-19 (Matt Sall’s father) and said hello to him and gave him a table.”
Springsteen and Bon Jovi weren’t the only celebrities to come to the Jersey Fries, as Matt explains:
“I have to say one of our favorites and a frequent frequenter is Jersey’s favorite Todd Fraser. He’s the best ever. He’ll sit and talk to any kid that comes to him and take pictures and give the kids advice. On the night of the freehold fireworks we had a party in the parking lot and maybe Take pictures with him and chat with 50 kids who still dream of playing Big League Baseball. He just got it.”
What sets Jersey Freeze apart from others?
“First off, in Freehold, we have a great, fast casual restaurant connected to the ice cream parlor. We made a lot of improvements when we took over in 2015. We have great burgers, cheese slices, wraps, wings, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc… so… You no longer have to go eat elsewhere and then come to buy ice cream, we are a one-stop shop.
“Our soft serve is on another level. The recipes we use are decades old and cannot be replicated. We offer softer serving flavors than the usual flavors you see everywhere. Pistachio, Banana and Coffee have become customer favorites, alongside for classic vanilla or creamers.”
“We try to keep up with the times while maintaining an old school ice cream parlor feel.
“We opened a second location in Holmdel (Bell Works) in 2020, and we continue to look forward to growth.
“Finally, we’re part of that community. Between schools, sports teams, our friends, our families, etc., we’re the local ice cream and burger shop. Places like Applebees call themselves ‘neighborhood grill’ but it’s a Kansas-based company. We’re that community.” And we always do our best to support him as well as all the other local small businesses.”
“And that’s what’s so special about Jersey Fries. That’s it, and you never know who might show up.”
The opinions expressed in the above post are those of Steve Trifles, host of the 101.5 talk show in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed
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