When you’ve lived in one place pretty much your entire life you know the history of all things and how they’ve evolved — both good and bad. The nice thing about the quaint Village of Arroyo Grande is that while things have changed, they’ve mostly stayed the same. And that is true of one of the crown jewels of the Village — Doc Burnstein’s.
When I was a kid there was no bigger treat than an ice cream cone. It was especially exciting when it meant a trip out after dinner or on a warm summer day to an ice cream shop — and my favorite was Burnardoz. For those that remember, Burnardoz was on the corner of Branch and Bridge Streets where Lightning Joe’s Guitar Shop is now. It had a corner door that opened to both streets and a long counter where dozens of hand made choices beckoned.
Years later, Burnardoz moved across the street and then was purchased by a new owner who changed the name but didn’t change that home made, hand made style. In fact it has become a favorite of locals, with the toy train making it’s way around the large space above patrons’ heads and even outside along the front. Servers are warm and friendly. Booths and tables boast marble tops reminiscent of the old soda fountains. They offer everything there is to do with ice cream — banana splits to made-from-scratch soda fountain desserts. They also host parties where tiny visitors can make an ice cream of their own concoction in the “lab” and name it themselves.
Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab
114 W. Branch Street
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
Tel. (805) 474-4068
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Among other things Doc Burnstein’s regularly contributes to community events with blood bank drives and nights where a percentage of all sales go to a good cause like Rotary or a local school. The owner and staff understand that they are a part of the fabric of our small community and it shows in all they do.
So next time you are in the Village and taking a stroll, top it off with a cone from Doc Burnstein’s … my son’s favorite flavor is “Birthday Cake” with sprinkles. Mine is the “Caramel Sea Salt.” Whatever you choose, it is the perfect accompaniment to a visit to the Village.