Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, a St. Louis landmark since the 1930s, announced it would close temporarily starting today, citing the health concerns of employees and customers from the coronavirus pandemic.
The company stated in a Facebook post it would continue to offer its frozen custard as usual in St. Louis-area grocery stores.
Ted Drewes had been operating with curbside pickup at the Chippewa Street (aka Route 66) for a few days.
It did not give a tentative reopening date.
Here’s the complete message:
Ted Drewes operates a second stand on South Grand Boulevard, but that one typically doesn’t open until Mother’s Day. Whether it will keep to that schedule remains unknown.
The coronavirus pandemic had infected a confirmed 104,000 people in the U.S. as of Friday night, killing 1,700. Worldwide, more than 600,000 were sickened, with 27,000 deaths. Health experts say the virus is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu.
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard began in 1929 near St. Petersburg, Florida, and moved to St. Louis in 1930. The first St. Louis shop was on a long-gone spot on Natural Bridge Avenue. The Grand Boulevard site opened in 1931.
Ted Drewes’ roots on the Mother Road date to 1941, when it opened its stand on Chippewa. The Chippewa location usually stays open through mid-January. During the holidays, it sells Christmas trees from its long-standing farm in Nova Scotia as a secondary source of income.
Ted Drewes’ product often makes the upper reaches of lists for the best ice cream in America. People have been known to drive hundreds of miles to eat there. It’s as ingrained into St. Louis culture as Cardinals baseball, toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake.
The recipe for its concretes remains a secret. However, it revealed one of the key ingredients is honey. During World War II, sugar was in short supply because of rationing. One day, the stand used honey as a substitute. It turned out the honey improved the frozen custard’s taste and texture.
(Image of Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis by Philip Leara via Flickr)