DIXON — When Lil' Angelos in Dixon closed on Galena Avenue, the location was too much for two-time restaurant owner Josh Burkhalter to pass up.
After all, what's all this talk of building up the Riverfront without ice cream?
Burkhalter opened Cobblestone 51 on North Galena Avenue over Memorial Day weekend. The shop serves 51 flavors of "old-fashioned," hand-scooped ice cream.
"It's the way our grandparents remember it," the 36-year-old said. "It's real ice cream. It's great just to see people's faces when you serve them the real stuff."
Burkhalter hopes Cobblestone 51 will become a destination must for anyone heading to the Riverfront. They can eat inside or get ice cream to go from the drive-up window.
"The Riverfront has come a long way in Dixon," said Burkhalter, who has lived in the city 15 years. "We want to interact as much as we can, and be a part of it and all the city's activities there."
Unlike the Cobblestone Ice Cream & Deli in Sterling, Burkhalter's shop will not serve deli sandwiches, because of the size of the building, he said.
Burkhalter said he financially tied to Cobblestone in Sterling, but is not involved with operations there. His energy is in the Dixon business.
It took about 92 days — sometimes working 18 hours a day — to renovate the building, which included installing new plumbing and bathrooms. The interior has seating for up to 30 people, and Cobblestone 51 has 4 full-time and 20 part-time workers.
"It had to be completely gutted and redone," Burkhalter said. "It was a lot of work, but I'm glad to say we're finally open."