After a nearly month-long, unexplained closure, Kitt's Frozen Custard, 7000 W. Capitol Dr., reopened this morning at 11.
When we stopped in just before noon, there was a steady flow of customers buying lunch and, in some cases, just frozen custard.
Among them, enjoying cones, were two women who had stopped at Kitt's last week only to find it closed and had worried it was closed permanently.
Another was Eira Parker, who said she's been a devoted customer for decades.
"I'm so happy right now," she enthused, clutching a shake. "I don't like any other ice cream. Maybe Kopp's once in a while. But I always come here."
She, too, had been concerned about the future of the long-lived stand.
"I couldn't figure out why it was closed," she said. "They looked like they were making money. It was closed for three weeks."
Owner Ray Rydz wasn't present when I stopped in but while I was ordering a cheeseburger and my go-to sundae, the employee working the window told me that Kitt's had closed because, "we were trying to fix some things up."
The cheeseburger I had today – my first at Kitt's, where I usually order custard only – was really delicious, with fresh toppings and nary a hint of grease. And the dusky road sundae (a dusty road – custard, hot fudge, malt powder and pecans – but with chocolate instead of vanilla custard) was equally good.
Kitt's, opened in 1952 by father and son Harry and John Kittredge with the help of Leon Schneider, is the fourth oldest custard stand, after Gilles' (1938), Leon's (1942) and Kopp's (1950).
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in an episode of TV's "Party of Five," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.