Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream, the 1950s-themed ice cream shop quietly opened last weekend at Tapestry on Central, a condominium complex near Central Avenue and Encanto Blvd., across from the light rail and down the street from the Heard Museum. The owners celebrate their grand opening on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
Previously, it was located at 7th Street and Bethany Home Road but was forced to close in April after the shopping center it was located in was sold and slated for redevelopment.
Founded in Akron, Ohio, Mary Coyle — the brand’s namesake — moved to Arizona and opened her own ice cream shop in 1951. Over the years, the shop has opened and closed, moved locations in Phoenix, and changed owners.
Each time, it has found someone with a niche for nostalgia to try and bring it back.
Larry Healey, who owned the store at 7th Street and Bethany Home Road, and helped secure its new location, is stepping down in January and will hand the ice cream shop over to his business partner, Howard Kunkle.
Kunkle, who remembers going to “Mary Coyles” with his children in the 1990s, said Mary Coyle is a Phoenix tradition, and he does not want that to go away.
“That’s what way people think about Mary Coyle ice cream,” he said. “They grew up with it here in Phoenix and I want to keep that tradition alive.”
Most of the previous location made the move to Central Avenue, he said.
“It’s the same booths, tables, chairs, and everything. Even the sneeze guard, I brought it too.”
At 1,200 square feet, it is slightly bigger than the previous location. The signature pink stripes have been painted on the walls. The floor is checkered in black and white, much like the old location. There are a couple circle tables, and a window-facing bar with a handful of black stools.
The menu is also the same. All of the ice cream is made in-house using Mary Coyle’s original recipes and locally sourced ingredients, when available, said Kunkle. There are ice cream scoops in bowls, cones, waffle cones, sundaes, banana bowls, and shakes.
For those looking for that Instagram-worthy post, they have their “showboats,” which are 3-, 5-, and 7-scoop sundaes.
Kunkle said he is considering bringing back some of the original Mary Coyle flavors that may have fallen off the menu over the years. He has also partnered with a local baker to bring fresh pies into the shop for anyone interested in pie à la mode.
He also wants to bring back a promotion where kids who earn all A’s on their report cards can get a free scoop of ice cream.
Does Kunkle want to open more Mary Coyle locations in the Valley? It’s a possibility, but his focus right now is getting the current one up and running and seeing where the future takes him.
There is a sidewalk in front of the store and a limited amount of parking behind the building.
Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashioned Ice Cream
2302 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Click here for the menu and more information.