73-Year-Old Staple

Rain Henderson

Arriving at 3646 Post St, a line of eager people wraps around the small white building behind the Circle K. The trunk of an SUV is popped open, colorfully-socked feet sway from side to side inducing a focus only a small child licking an ice-cream cone in the heat of Florida could know. Tall, swirly, soft cream balances under hard hats and a bowl of sprinkled covered fruit rests carefully in the hands of an elderly woman. The iconic “sagging pants = no service” sign shines hilariously in the sun. Town Beer Owner, Alex Moldovan, describes Dreamette as “old school as it gets, nostalgia in a cone!”.

Since 1948, Dreamette’s blue and white painted walls on Post St. have been attracting ice-cream lovers to Murray Hill. “It’s cheap, fast, and has lots of options”, local ice-cream licker, Maddy Hackl, replied when asked why she loved Dreamette. “Everyone seems to agree that it was a staple growing up in Jacksonville”. Johnny Nettles has owned the original Murray Hill Dreamette for about 14 years and is licensing to Brian and Deanne Roes who plan to open a new location in San Marco. Though new to Dreamette, the San Marco spot is familiar to most. The popular Bold Bean Coffee Roasters served drinks and treats at 1905 Hendricks Ave for five years, closing last year due to low foot traffic probably relating to the pandemic.

Dreamette has trade name license agreements for the stores to ensure quality and consistency, Roes said in a news release that they will be working closely with Nettles “to replicate the same menu, recipes, ingredients and charm” of the original store. Locals like Airen Walker, hope this is true “the product, quality and service is amazing and has been that way since we were children”. The Roes’ chose San Marco because of the historic nature which should be fitting. Like Murray Hill, the San Marco location will be a walk-up with outdoor seating.

Other locations will be opening as well, as Nettles tries to keep the memory alive. If you’re driving down N. Main St. you can see the hand-painted sundaes and sprinkle-covered walls of the Springfield location awaiting a sign. I’ll be curious to see if new locations will accept sagging pants.