From Kopp's to Junior's: classic custard stand keeps going
Today, the custard stand located at 6005 W. Appleton Ave. isn't one of the city's most famous even though it is one of the oldest. This spring, the business changed hands and names, from Robert's to Junior's, but originally, it had an even more recognizable name: Kopp's.
In 1950, Elsa Kopp opened the first Kopp's custard stand at the same location. At the time, she and her husband and business partner, Karl Kopp, were German immigrants with no prior business experience. The business later became a Robert's Frozen Custard for many years, and this spring, was purchased by Omar Ahmad and renamed Junior's.
Ahmad also owns several JJ's Fish and Chicken franchises in the city.
Junior's has the same custard and jumbo burger offerings as Robert's did, but features an expanded menu. Reubens, B.L.T.s, tenderloin sandwiches, Italian beef, steak and eggs, patty melts and gyros are now also available.
Chicken wings, a shrimp basket and a family-style fish fry with cod fillets, cole slaw and tartar sauce are options now, too. Sides include curly fries, onion rings, cheese sticks, fried mushrooms and more.
Junior's also has kids' meals, the usual fare of hot dogs, grilled cheese, pizza puffs, chicken strips or corn dogs. All come with an order of fries and a beverage (milk or soda) for $4.69.
Junior's sundaes have particularly tantalizing names, including chocolate peanut paradise, colossal cashew sundae, hot fudge heaven and triple treat temptation. They are all priced at $4.79.
After a quick price comparison between Junior's and the Kopp's on Port Washington Road, it was clear that – in most cases – prices at Junior's are cheaper than Kopp's. A single scoop of custard is $1.49 at Junior's and $2.08 at Kopp's and a double is $1.95 at Junior's and $2.78 at Kopp's. However, a to-go pint is basically the same price: it's $3.49 at Junior's and $3.50 at Kopp's.
For the record, Leon's Frozen Custard, 3131 S. 27th St., might have the cheapest custard prices in town. A single scoop is $1.27 and a double costs $1.84.
Basic hamburgers – which are massive at both places – are $3.25 at Kopp's and $2.99 at Junior's. At both places, they are made to order with toppings available from ketchup to fried onions.
Patti Paape is the manager at Junior's. She started working at the custard business when she was 16, about nine years ago. She says she left for a while, but returned, mostly because she loves working with children.
"So many kids come in here," she says. "And they get so excited when they get their ice cream. They are so amazed by the custard machine, and how the custard comes out. It's really fun."
Paape says Junior's business is booming this summer and on a busy Friday or Saturday night she'll serve 200 to 300 cones, along with hundreds of sundaes and sandwiches.
The building is really cute, with a modified A-frame style, and the interior is no frills, but clean and spacious. Junior's has indoor and outdoor seating, along with a large parking lot in front of the structure.
Junior's is open all year 'round and changes custard flavors every day. According to Paape, butter pecan is the most popular flavor.
"It's funny, because everybody loved butter pecan and wanted it, so we started offering it every day. But then people got tired of it, I think, and stopped ordering it. So we discontinued having it every day and now, people are asking for it all the time again," she says.
beeinwinter couldnt be farther off the mark. Leons was, is, and always will be the best custard in the world!!!!
I had a cheeseburger at JR a week ago and it was much better than Kopps.
imbird-And what it is that you have done to fill those vacant citry buildings? I love how people throw stones from their couch when they never have put themselves out there and run their own business..
Glad to see the great comments about Juniors. I am frustrated that businesses like Kopp's get their start in Milwaukee and then escape to the suburbs leaving empty buildings in the city. Luckily for Juniors' neighborhood, one of those buildings has been filloed!
FFDan give me a break, Leon's shouldn't even be mentioned in the article. It is subpar compared to what it was like years ago. Staff doesn't listen and get orders incorrect. The vanilla is flavorless. They hardly put any toppings on sundaes. I'd rather pay more and get something of quality! Hopefully, no one will go out of their way to try it. The only thing good about Leon's is their neon.
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