About The Brown Cow

History

My family and I opened The Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor in 2004 – an old fashioned soda fountain where we serve delectable treats with old fashioned charm.

The parlor serves super premium homemade ice cream, craft made root beer, fresh baked pies & cakes, locally roasted gourmet coffee drinks, ice cream cakes & pies.

Our private party room is perfect for your next celebration – or we can cater a sundae bar to your office, home, school or block party.

Come enjoy a sweet treat with us. We look forward to serving you!

Connie Brown

Building

The Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor operates in a circa 1886 showhouse turned soda shop. In 1914, as the cinema became popular, many shophouses were turned into movie theaters. This building was the first movie theatre outside the city of Chicago. The theatre sat about 300 people and featured an outside ticket booth and orchestra pit. As movie technology advanced, so did the size of the theaters, and this theatre became obsolete. A larger, multi-screen movie theatre opened down the street, and this theatre became popular for second-run shows, cowboy movies and cartoons. Although it changed hands and names many times, it was last known as the ‘Lil Theatre in the early 60’s.

Sustainability

The Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor is committed to operating a sustainable business for the sake of the planet and all the little customers who will inherit our mess. The old fashioned decor, woodwork and fixtures have been repurposed from salvaged materials from the early 1900s. Our equipment is refurbished as long as it continues to be energy efficient, and all of our take-out containers are made of corn starch so that they dissolve in landfills. We are one of the only businesses here in town that has a robust recycling program.

The Brown Cow makes most of our products from scratch using local ingredients right here in-house. We locally source any products that we don’t make ourselves. 90% of every dollar you spend at The Brown Cow goes right back into our local economy. Thank you for shopping sustainable. Thank you for shopping small.

With homemade ice cream, root beer floats, fresh baked pies & cakes, and a whole lot more, The Brown Cow has something for everyone’s sweet tooth!

One of Chicago’s Best!