Frio ice cream shop to open later this summer in Perry

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Aaron Lenz, former general manager of the Hotel Pattee, took matters into his own hands in July 2018, when remodeling began for the Frio ice cream store at 1114 First Ave.

A new ice cream store is soon to open at 1114 First Ave. in downtown Perry, filling a gap in the marketplace that opened with the closure last June of the Firehouse Ice Cream shop and then of the Mars Dairy Bar last September.[wpedon id=”85410″ align=”left”]

Frio is the name of the new sweet shop, borrowed from the Spanish word for cold, and the hot idea is the brainchild of Tom Maxwell, owner of the Hotel Patte, and Aaron Lenz, general manager. The building is part of the Hotel Pattee property and lies across the alley to the north of the Perry City Hall. It formerly housed BTWI.

Work began Monday morning when sign painter Bart McCune of Denver, Colo., began applying his art to the front window and side door of the store. McCune said he stopped in Perry on his way back from the 2018 Walldogs Mural Fest in Streator, Ill.

“I’m old friends with Matt,” McCune said, referring to Hotel Pattee Chef Matthew Grimsley. “He said, ‘Hey, you want to paint a sign on your way back to Colorado?’ So here I am.”

By sundown, McCune had finished his signs, and Lenz had powerwashed at least three inches of mud off the alley wall of 1114 First Ave. He also gave the alleyway wall a fresh coat of white paint, which greatly improved the look of the soon-to-open ice cream shop, which lies just south of Wil-Do Cleaners.

“We’ll start the flooring tomorrow,” Lenz said, “and with luck we’ll be open by the middle of July.”[wpedon id=”85410″ align=”left”]

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