By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 21, 2021 at 11:16 AM

Change comes slowly at Leon's Frozen Custard, at 3131 S. 27th St., opened by Leon Schneider on May 1, 1942 and where tradition rules.

On Friday morning, a new flavor began to ooze out of the Custard King and Leon's-built custard machines at the classic drive-in: blue moon.

I was the first to get a cone of it and you can see more about it in this Facebook live...

It's one of the better blue moons I've tried, too, because it's not the kind of sugar bomb that blue moon custard and traditional ice cream can be. And, because it's Leon's, it's nice and creamy smooth.

As I suspected it would be, the blue moon is also a flavor that doesn't require inclusions – like bits of candy or cookies added after the custard comes out of the machine – something Leon's isn't big on, unlike other stands.

Plus, blue moon is said to have been invented in the 1950s in Milwaukee by Bill “Doc” Sidon, a flavor chemist at Petran Products, which held a trademark – now expired – on the flavor, despite the fact that recipes for such a flavor could reportedly be found in newspapers earlier.

It's been 30 years since cinnamon was added to a lineup of custard flavors that includes vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, raspberry, mint, butter pecan and maple nut.


The landmark stand looks much the same as it has for decades and it's still run by Schneider's son Ron and grandson Steve.



Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," 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 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 has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.