MATTOON -- The Mattoon Burger King is set to open a Frigid Queen branch location in the former Rhoadside Custard ice cream cone-shaped stand near Lytle Park.
The Ron and Laurie Rhoads family of Mattoon owns the Rhoadside Custard property, 404 S. 32nd St., and their ice cream stand has been closed since the end of its 2014 season. They announced on the Rhoadside Custard Facebook page on Tuesday that the owners of the Mattoon Burger King, Ernie and Jodi Drummond, plan to reopen the stand.
"It's been a while coming but the Rhoads Family is excited to announce a change coming at the cone," the Rhoads family reported. "Get ready to enjoy the same great Burger King goodness, just across town at their Frigid Queen."
Ernie Drummond said Wednesday that he hopes to reopen the ice cream stand in late May after updates are completed at the property. Drummond said he has trained staff from the Mattoon Burger King that are ready to work at the branch location.
A crew from Monitor Sign Service in Mattoon took down the old Rhoadside Custard sign from this stand and installed the new Frigid Queen sign early Wednesday afternoon.
Frigid Queen will offer the Mattoon Burger King's full ice cream menu, Drummond said. He added that the stand also will serve barbecue sandwiches, hotdogs, nachos, pretzels and other food, but is not large enough to accommodate a burger grill.
Drummond said Frigid Queen, like Rhoadside Custard before it, will likely be open on a seasonal basis that encompasses summer swimming at the outdoor pool in Lytle Park.
"There is a lot of traffic out there in the summertime," Drummond said. "We are not sure now much traffic there will be in the wintertime."
Drummond said he got the idea to reopen the ice cream stand after talking with Ron Rhoads, who works on refrigeration equipment at the Mattoon Burger King. Drummond said he plans to lease the ice cream stand and see how its first season back open goes before making any long term plans for the location.
The Rhoads family opened Rhoadside Custard in 2001 after purchasing the ice cream cone-shaped building from the Twistee Treat company. Twistee Treat lettering is a permanent part of the building's exterior.
Drummond purchased the Mattoon Burger King in 2017 after having worked as a manager for many years for the restaurant's founders, Gene and Betty Hoots.
The Mattoon Burger King's history goes back to when Gene Hoots purchased a seasonal Frigid Queen stand downtown from his uncle in 1952. Hoots added burgers to the menu, opened year-round and rechristened the restaurant as Burger King in 1954. Drummond said he has paid tribute to that history by naming his new location Frigid Queen.
"Fast friendly service since 1952," is the motto on the new Frigid queen sign.