In the early 40's my friend Margaret and I would walk home from high school and pass Mullen's on the way home. About every other week or so, when our pocketbook's could afford it, we would stop. I always bought a malted milk. What a treat!
I worked at Mullen's a couple years right out of high school. The best part was the camaraderie with my co-workers. One night when we were closing, we were all singing along to the 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' & the guy doing the mopping was dancing down the aisle with the mop. We had so much fun together. Now I live in Nebraska, but it was worth coming back here just to have the best chocolate malt anywhere and to look around and see that Mullen's is still the same.
P.S. Hi to Donna & Sheri
I used to come here with college friends from Maranatha in the late 80's. Didn't have a lot to spend, so usually just got ice cream. I usually got a thick strawberry shake w/a 10¢ raw egg. Can't get the egg anymore! Got married and started coming with my wife until we moved away. Now we come to visit and enjoy telling our kids about the memories.
P.S. I put away a 'Bigger 'n Bill at the age of 40, so I've still got what it takes!
My first job was to scoop ice cream at Mullen's. I worked on through high school in the 1980's. When I left Watertown to go to college, I was so homesick that the Mullen's paid for my first Christmas trip home. I flew from Boston and was so grateful that not only had I many great memories working there, I also had made some very wonderful friends.
Now I live in Eastern Europe (Estonia) and still find Mullen's ice cream incomparable. Thanks for also keeping the interior intact for so many decades!
Denise (Keeha) Graziano
We stop at Mullen's every time we come through Watertown. We are always impressed with the high school & college girls who work here. Mullen's will be packed and they keep their eye on everyone and do a great job - keeping moving & taking care of the customers. We'll be back again!
The only place to take a girl for real ice cream any more is Mullen's. I learned this at an early age and continue to frequent Mullen's whenever I am in the state. From living across the street above Jonas, to living 1100 miles away on the beach, I still can't go past Mullen's and get a great shake or cone. Even with all the great homemade flavors to choose from, I think the thing that kept me coming back was the friendly staff and comfortable "old school" environment. I'd like to share my fondest memory, but I can't narrow it down to ten, let alone one. Whatever it was though, I'm sure it involved Donna :-), or one of the many hundreds of pickle spears she gave me. Well, the beach is calling and I have a long drive ahead, so I will bid you adieu and will see you down at Mullen's whenever the wind blows me in again.
Dave Radloff - care of Biloxi, Mississippi
We've been coming to Mullen's over 25 years, bringing our grandchildren for ice cream treats. Now we come to Mullen's and bring our 'great' grandchildren for the same delicious ice cream treats!
The Marquardts from Oconomowoc
P.S. Keep up the good work!!!
Long time ago I used to come in every Saturday after collecting on my Milwaukee Journal route. I left a substantial sum here every Saturday - biggest treat: Double Chocolate malt with a raw egg - Yummy!
Erv Koepman, now of Oconomowoc
Three years ago when I was in 5th grade my class walked from St. Bernard's School to Mullen's. It was a very fun class field trip because we got to see the storage places for ice cream and how the store works. The best part though was the ice cream! :-)
We were introduced to Mullen's by our parents. From the double dip ice cream cones to the ice cream that went with every birthday cake and special occasion.
As we were growing up, Mullen's was the place to stop for a double dip cone, a chocolate malted shake or chocolate sundae-after school, baseball games, movies or double dates.
As our daughters were growing up, it was a place for private family celebrations after concerts, recitals, school productions and even "good" report cards.
Now that we have grandchildren and they visit us each summer from Denver, Mullen's is their first request. It's become a family tradition!
That's four generations of Mullen's Memories. We hope you will be there for the next generation!
Bob & Donna Schmutzler
1435 Oconomowoc Avenue
Watertown, WI 53094
I have watched Mullen's employees come and go through out the 13 years I have been coming here also meeting new ones come in and join the family here.
We came from Oconomowoc to watch Barb (from Jefferson) enjoy her 2 p.m. chocolate soda. We could come any day because Barb came everyday. She must have!
Totally Turtle, Pat Herro
I remember groups of twenty or more arriving with caregivers and relishing their various dairy treats in here and being so happy with that experience! Owners & employees have been so welcoming and courteous.
My memory is when I was a kid, on Sundays after church, my father would take my mother, sister and myself for a drive, then we would stop here at Mullen's' for malts or the fixings for them, then my mother would make them at home with her Mixmaster. Good eating either way!
Jean C Brier Bohmen, Watertown WI
After a trip to the dentist, my mother would bring us to Mullen's for ice cream sundaes (or whatever we wanted) but only if we had no cavities! My standard order was a hot fudge sundae with marshmallow topping. It was quite the incentive to keep our teeth clean!
Tracy Malterer, Iron Ridge WI
My family moved to Watertown in April of 1997. We "found" Mullen's; it quickly became our favorite place to get a treat. Every time we came in, the first thing we would do is each (4 of us) try to get a purple gumball. We got lucky a few times! Then we'd wrap our gumballs in a napkin and save them for after our ice cream. We now live in Summit, but we still stop at Mullen's every chance we get.
Happy 75th Anniversary!
Vikki, Steve, Stephanie & Jenna Challoner
I've tried peanut butter malts everywhere in WI & nobody can make one like Mullen's! Even places with Mullen's ice cream can't make a peanut butter malt like Mullen's!
Candice Lou Lenz
Lake Mills WI
Hi, my name is Vernette Weisensel, a former employee of Mullen's for 11 years.
My former employers, all brothers, were Frank Mullen, Jerry Mullen and Weber Mullen. Later on a son Bill Mullen, purchased the business. Frank was in charge of the retail store and orders. Jerry was in charge of general maintenance and Weber, the ice cream maker. Weber & Jerry also assisted in the bottling, such as washing, sterilizing, and filling of bottles. We sold milk in _ pints, 1 pint, 1 quart, _ gallons and gallons; all in glass. They also had several fellows who were milk men who delivered milk.
They had three women in retail - Ruth Smith, daytime, Victoria Pukawald daytime and myself evenings from 6 till 10:30 p.m. On Saturdays I worked from 8 to 12:30. Frank also worked evenings and Saturdays. There were several high school boys who did restocking and worked in the store. The one I particularly remember is Richard Nienow who now owns Haffemeister Funeral Home. I see his name all the time. My senior moment - can't remember the rest of the names. They all were great kids.
They had a secretary named Blanche Hobacorn and the office was upstairs.
Ice cream sold for 10 cents single dip and 25 cents double dip. Milk was 97 cents a gallon. Some one made a remark that some day milk will sell for $3.00 a gallon. We thought they were nuts. Joke, look at it now!
Enclosed is a picture of the scale we used. I purchased it from Bill Mullen when my husband and I went into the strawberry business. We are out of that but we use for weighing asparagus.
In the store we used that scale to weigh cheese. We had to cut if from a large hunk and weigh it and wrap it. Later on that was stopped; it came already cut and wrapped.
The cash register was one you pushed levers down, the numbers were displayed in a window. You pushed a button to get a total, but when the electricity went off, you cranked it on the side to get a total.
We sold ice cream packed by hand in pints, quarts and half gallons. Later on they packed them by machine. Ice cream was usually served in metal containers with a paper liner and in glass dishes which were washed by hand.
Frank and I one time had a hilarious incident. I was scooping and, not known to me, he had his hand over my head giving a nickel change. I straightened up, knocked the nickel out of his hand, it went straight up. I looked up and when the nickel came down, it went right into my bra. I stepped into the aisle, did a little wiggle and out came the nickel. Both Frank and I and the customer nearly died laughing.
Among other things we sold those days were candy; penny candy and bars for 10 cents, 20 cents and 25 cents. We also sold warm roasted nuts you weighed and bagged. At the time we only had one counter for sitting; then later they remodeled, moved out the ice cream seasoning cabinet and the soda cooler. A little later an eatery was added. The walk in freezer under Bill Mullen was moved and space was turned into an office.
After the old register was removed we went to a more modern cash register which gave out receipts. That was later removed and got a different one. A few years ago when I purchased the scale, I also purchased the second cash register to use with our strawberry business; we still use it today for our asparagus sales.
My memories working for Mullen's are very pleasant and they were very nice people to work for. Every Friday night Frank made sure I took home a 5 qt pail of ice cream. Frank always said if anybody held you up, give them the money, don't resist. Never had any problems. He also said help yourself to an ice cream. Frank never advertised for help for boys he always used the other boys for referrals. We never had any problems with any of them.
After Web died they hired George McFarland to make the ice cream. When the bottling machines broke down they found it too expensive to replace so they purchased milk from Golden Guernsey. I can't remember if it was bottles or cartons.
Bill Mullen purchased the business from Jerry and Frank. I worked for him a short time. Again, wonderful to work for. When I left they hired a girl named Sussi. We all wore white aprons, furnished by Mullen's.
Have a good laugh at my computer work. I'm no secretary which is plenty obvious. I'm rather new at the computer. I'm 83 but I try.
My name is Joan (Doubleday) Fendt. My memory of Mullen's is working there. It was my first ever job. I was a junior in High School. I started out by writing a slip for each customer and what the milkman would deliver to their house. A box would be outside your door where your order was placed. Later I got to do dishes in the ice cream parlor and slowly made it to waiting on people. I worked for Frank Jr. and wife, Helen. Web and his son, Jake, worked in the back making ice cream. This was when I was 16 years old in 1951, fifty-six years ago. I am now 72 years old. My dad, Louis Doubleday, was a Mullen's milkman all his working years, except one year. He retired in 1973.
W____ 4 Rootbeer. . .lol.
Great Rootbeer. Great Service. One time me and 2 other friends came in just to visit with friends and we ordered 3 root beers and we all rolled away on all the root beer we drank. Nikki and Steph, probably the 2 best servers Mullen's has. I swear if it wasn't for them I probably wouldn't come as often . . . lol.
I LOVE YOU GUYS!
I remember as a kid looking forward to a visit to Mullen's. I'd always order "Bubblegum" ice cream and eat the ice cream but save the gum pieces for later. It was always best if you could stay and spin on the stools at the counter! Now I bring my kids here they order the same bubblegum ice cream and do the same with the gum! Congrats on 75 years!
My sister and I would have a competition on who would have more gum; I would always win! I have moved to California and now I bring my wife here when we come back to visit. Can't wait until next time!
San Francisco, CA
My memory is ice cream. I LOVE
Mullen's ice cream. Usually I get cookie dough because I really like it. I always walk here with my grandma and cousins to get ice cream.
My memory is that Mullen's is the best. I LOVE
their malts. It is the best ice cream ever!
I worked here my freshman year in high school! WOW. . . .9 years ago already! I just remember having a blast with the crew. People like Kim, Nick, Holly, Annette. I miss closing the store with these guys and singing while mopping.
New York City, NY
I remember coming to Mullen's as a kid and buying milk. "Pinky" Herold was a neighbor of ours and delivered bottles of milk to the entire city.
When mom and dad said we were going to Mullen's, my brother and I cheered! Dad normally got the Turtle Sundae. Mom always got something with chocolate in it. My brother and I often got bubblegum ice cream. We didn't have gum too often at home so this was our chance to get our fair share compared to the other kids in the neighborhood. We were never in a rush when we came here. Sitting in the booth and laughing at each others jokes while ice cream dripped down our face . . . ah - what wonderful memories!
Used to be in Watertown - now Layton, VT
The Day family of Riverlawn Avenue has celebrated 3 generations of ice cream and fun at Mullen's Dairy Bar.
George & Adelle brought their daughters Linda & Kathy in the 50's.
Linda and Kathy came with friends during high school in the 60's. (Lindsey had her first sundae here.)
Kathy (Kate) and her husband Chris brought Lindsey & Colin, their children, in the 80's and 90's.
Now Lindsey brings her friends in the 2000's new millennium.
Thank you for all the years!
Hooray Mullen's Dairy Bar
It's good to be back. Mullen's was my home for 8 years as I worked my way through high school and college. The memories that come flooding back each time I return could fill this book, so I'll condense it to my favorite "Top 10".
#10 Getting my picture taken with Santa and Donna every
Christmas holiday wearing reindeer antlers.
#9 Watching 4th of July fireworks from the roof while munching on
#7 Plotting with Donna & fellow co-workers on what to put in Ron's
#6 Working at Riverfest so long your shoes would stick to the
#5 Spending long mornings cleaning out the fudge pumps and
never being able to put them back together.
#4 Being the hot girl to make Mullen's ice cream in the back.
#3 Having Mullens' sundaes served at my wedding.
#2 Memorizing every 'oldie' ever played on the radio.
#1 TP'ing Ron & Glo's office with Micah Ertl our last day before
leaving for college.
Thanks for all the Memories!!
Karen Hennig (Kueth)
Mullen's employee 1998-2005 :-)
When my brother, Robert, and I were little we used to ride from Richwood and do our paper route and then come to Mullen's for ice cream. Once in high school, I used to come here with friends all the time. My co-workers from George Webb, especially Aaron Abraham and I used to come here after a long day at work. Now that I live in Lincoln Nebraska, I bring all guests here for a true 'Taste of Watertown'. Congrats!
WHS 2001 Grad
I have lived in Jefferson all my life until 2006 when I moved to Madison. Coming to Watertown to shop on Friday or Saturday nights was a special treat for my family when I was young. Stopping at Bittner & Tetzlaff's Pharmacy for a chocolate soda at their fountain topped off the evening. Later, after the destructive fire there, we discovered Mullen's and from then on we came for a soda several times a week.
I well remember the gloomy, rainy November day when President Kennedy was assassinated and yet we drove up to Mullen's to commiserate with Frank and Helen Mullen over sodas.
An even more traumatic day was April 23, 1967 when my mother refused to give in to what eventually was a massive stroke and insisted on going up to Mullen's for what turned out to be her last soda and visit with the Mullen's. Later that evening she was hospitalized and died in July.
I personally have been a regular for a chocolate soda through all the subsequent changes of family and ownership, including Jerry and Web and 'young Bill' Mullen. Then came Ron and Gloria Luepke and now Troy and Shannon Milbrath. All have maintained the traditional quality ingredients for their products, and I am the unofficial watchdog over the chocolate and vanilla used.
Through the years I can remember the many young people who worked at Mullen's, including the various members of the McFarland family whose father, George, was the ice cream maker. Then there was Susie Tesch and Donna Klumb. In recent years there has been Sheri Ertl who became a personal friend, along with her daughter, Micah. I even attended Micah's wedding!
Mullen's is one of the very last bastions for ice cream sodas anywhere. Today's young people often watch Sheri or Jule or Ruth among others make a soda and ask what that is. Despite their comments that it looks really good, they seem to be afraid to take the plunge. If they would, they would soon treasure Mullen's as I have for so long.
Now that I live in Madison I still try to get out to Mullen's once or twice a week for my 'fix' of chocolate sodas and all the news of Watertown. I am now 82 years old and while I can't pinpoint exactly how long I have been frequenting Mullen's, it is at least 44 years. They must be doing something right!
I have a close connection to Mullen's Dairy - Bigger than Bill is my son-in-law, a gem! I also noted my picture on the wall with an ice cream cone - not from Mullen's Dairy - but it made my love for good ice cream - Long live Mullen's!
P.S. The picture was taken c. 1924. Anna was the girl farthest on the right with her 2 sisters, 1 brother & 2 foster brothers.
My father and I used to come here in the 1960's. One time we each had two chocolate malts apiece. WOW!
Used to walk up here from NW College to eat 25¢ cones in the early 50's.
We moved to Marshall from the East Coast in 1965 and have always been great fans of ice cream parlors and good ice cream. We did not, however, discover Mullen's until 1980 when we were doing historical research on spinning wheels in Watertown. Mullen's was the perfect old-fashioned ice cream parlor with top notch ice cream. It has become one of our favorite places, and a weekend without a visit to Mullen's does not seem like a weekend.
Vic and Pat Hilts
Nearly 10 years ago we moved to Watertown from our lake home at Camelot. Joyce wanted to be near our daughter Gloria. I wanted to be anywhere there was action. We found plenty of action at Mullen's Dairy Bar. Joyce became the dishwasher at the rush hour as well as the laundry lady.
I became the busboy, dishwasher, repairman, replacing panel in the dining area, fixing the counters and handling the recyclables.
The most fun was working in the production area making ice cream, filling Dixie cups, capping, boxing and freezing them.
There was also the excitement of Riverfest, county fairs as well as the Alliant Building where we served ice cream for the horse fair and the national Honda Gold Wing show.
But the most treasured memory is the look on kid's faces as they came in with their families, eyes dancing with excitement and to hear the noise of joyful laughter.
Howard and Joyce Wolf, along with Ron and Gloria Luepke, want nothing more than the continued success of Mullen's.
Remember, a smile is something of face value.
My family moved into Watertown on December 8, 1945 above 206 W. Main Street (Bergin Bros.). Mullen's Dairy - 212 W. Main, only 2 stores were in between. I was raised on Mullen's ice cream! I walked past every school day, on my way to St. Bernard's School. Michael Mullen (Frank & Helen's son) and Kathryn Mullen (Web & Ruth's daughter) were in my class. I walked to Watertown Senior High on S. 8th street for 4 years. I came home for lunch followed by a Mullen's Hot Fudge Sundae (25¢) to eat on the way back to High School. My favorite memory is the free ice cream cones when the temperature reached minus 20° below zero. My 2 brothers and I never missed that treat, as we lived so close.
Happy 75th Anniversary
Kathryn Bergin Lischka
I had a free ice cream cone here in the 1950's when it was more than 25° below zero.
Dear Wttn Daily Times Editor; here is a picture of the 'home at 605 Lafayette St. in Watertown.
Our favorite memories of Mullen's Dairy Restaurant are of course, taking our seven children to enjoy the delicious ice cream and friendly folks who serve it.
But, perhaps the sweetest memory is the one we as a family share all alone, and that is that we were able to raise up our 7 kids in the home that Frank Mullen Sr. had built for his own children, including Webb and Frank Jr.
We've, many times, imagined the Mullen family sitting in the dining room (pictured here) enjoying some of their 'own' ice cream, as we had in the exact same room. We also imagined just how many pails of ice cream might have been stored in the basement of the home.
Frank Mullen's own children, who in fact, helped him run the family business, lived and grew up right in our own home.
Now, how much more special can a memory be?
Frank & Jen Winter
My memories date back to the early 40's when my parents, Arnold and Hilda Voss, purchased their farm across the road from Frank Mullen's. The men hauled their milk each morning and it didn't take long for Mr. Mullen to talk my Dad into taking his milk to Mullen's Dairy also, which was in need of more milk as their business was growing. My Dad not only took the milk but also too, my sister and I to grade school so it was fun thing for us to be able to go each day before school to the 'ice cream' store, on a very special day we would get a small ice cream cone, a real treat. The Mullen family was always a joy to do business with and also very good neighbors.
Hertha (Voss) Sterwald
I remember that Frank Mullen family had a farm west of Watertown. The farm wasn't big enough for four adult sons, so the father started the dairy in Watertown. Three of the sons worked there, Frank Jr. and Web worked the dairy, and the third doing the electrical work.
When the Mullen farm was unable to produce enough milk for the Dairy, they asked my husband if he would sell the milk from our farm to them. We were happy to do so since they were paying more than Van Camp's. That also meant that we had to make sure that our milk got to Watertown each day. Some snowy days that was a real challenge with our horse and sleigh.
My daughter remembers stopping at Mullen's for a malt in the 1950's at the end our Friday night shopping trips. We would climb up on the stools and savor the 25 cent delights. It was also a big occasion for us to drive into town on a hot summer night for cones or a malt. Only one of us had to dress up and run in for our treats. It was often difficult to find a parking place as so many others had the same idea.
Mrs. Gilbert (Eva) Melcher
Our family had been customers of Dorner Dairy for years until it became Mullen's. I remember we could still get raw milk from Mullen's while Brinkman's had only pasteurized. I got to know all the Mullen's boys but Frank "Moon" drove the horse and wagon that delivered to our home. I was in 3rd grade and my teacher at Webster school was Helen Graham, who also happened to be Moon's girl friend.
Consequently I'd get up at 5:30 every morning and get in the wagon and ride the route while Moon would be walking alongside delivering milk. The horse knew all the stops. Moon always had some corny joke he wanted me to transmit which I would dutifully perform and she would get a pained look on her face pretending she didn't think much of the quality of those jokes.
However, a year later she and Moon were married. Sometime later when the famous Mullen's Dairy Store appeared my best friend & classmate, Jay Koepman, and I stopped in and were surprised to find that our waitress was our former 3rd grade teacher.
(Tom Schultz wrote this up in "Time Square" column "Cupid Rides the Milk Wagon".)
While growing up in the family home on North Church Street, we often visited Mullen's for ice cream and other treats. At that time, no sandwiches were served, just ice cream, candy, soda, milk, etc. One of my favorites was a cherry fizzy soda concoction made from the many flavor offerings.
Like all good customers of Mullen's, our family had a charge account with the store. Clerks knew us by name, and wrote whatever we ordered in a notebook ledger kept under the counter. My parents paid the bill each month. We often bought hand-packed ice cream at the store, but not milk; that was delivered by the Mullen's milk truck.
The family of a classmate and friend took Mullen's delivery to a whole new level. Her father would call in an order for ice cream sundaes, malts or whatever, and then a cab would deliver the order to the house. The cabbie was paid in cash, and the Mullen's order was charged to the family's account.
One of Mullen's daily customers was a man who always ordered a raw egg, and drank it down from a glass in one or two gulps.
Mullen's was a social gathering place as well as a source of treats. Friends often met there after games or other functions.
Margaret Clifford Krueger
WHS Class of 1961
Lake Mills, WI
After band concerts in Junior High and Senior High School my parents would treat us to ice cream at Mullen's. My favorite was a Hot Tin Roof with pecans (1975-1981)
Barbara (Dommer) Leiknes
I grew up in Johnson Creek. There was no swimming pool so in summer, at least once a week; we'd ride our bikes to swim at the pool in Watertown. On the way back home we always
stopped at Mullen's. I'd get a chocolate ice cream cone. Some things you never forget!
Years and years ago Mollie Christensen showed me the art of stealing. For a pastor's daughter I thought this was quite unusual but I went along with it. Mullen's was very, very busy and we slid by the candy counter and I put something in my pocket. I don't remember what candy it was. And, then, we left, fast.
I always felt bad about that. So glad I can get it off my chest.
Thanks, Mullen's - I feel better.
Carol Christian (Henning)
P.S. Never stole again!
When me and my cousin were younger we came here all the time to get the best ice cream in the World. This was the best hang out place in town and everyone was wonderful and chirpy. The energy was amazing.
When I was young my Dad, Gary Hartmann, would bring me to Mullen's. We would have Italian sausage sandwiches and then share a "Bigger 'n Bill." We each picked a few ice cream flavors and a few toppings and we always finished it! Now whenever my kids are with me and we're driving through Watertown, I have to bring them, and we sit on the stools where my Dad and I always sat and get a scoop of ice cream. Maybe some day we'll all share a "Bigger 'n Bill."
This is the first ice cream parlor we have ever brought our niece to. She decided to celebrate the occasion by spilling water everywhere, even on this book. Thank you for all the wonderful memories, Mullen's
Fond du Lac
Can't drive through Watertown without stopping at "Mullen's" for a shake - may you never shut the doors!
Bill & Roberta Sauer
In the 1940's Moon would deliver to our house on 10th street. Every evening I would push my little guy in the stroller to Mullen's. We really came every night and Mullen's made him a special child size sundae just for him. They knew we would be here! Now I live in Iowa and have no family left in Watertown. My son is now 66. When we're in Wisconsin we stop in Watertown on purpose to go to Kraemer's Cheese and Mullen's. Being here really brings back the memories.
My first time ever in Watertown, my boyfriend brought me to Mullen's. I never thought ice cream could be a great malt but, hey! Something new. Your burgers and malts grabbed my stomach and won't give it back! I practically beg my boyfriend to come here and he can't resist once I mention your burgers. Now it's my b-day tradition to come here and grab a malt. Keep it up and keep the food coming!
I grew up in Watertown (1953-1974). Coming to Mullen's was a weekly treat with my family. Chocolate malts were my favorite. One favorite memory of mine is one of the times my Dad brought us all here to Mullen's (my youngest brother was about 18 months old). My Dad bought my brother his own malt and several of us were arguing with my Dad because he gave my brother the malt with a straw and none of us thought he knew how to drink with a straw. As we were debating this, my 18 month old brother calmly sucked up his malt through the straw!!! I just came back to Watertown for a visit and decided to visit Mullen's. It's exactly the same!! Thanks for the memories.
Mona Hanlin (Miller)
I came here when I was 6. It was delicious. And, it still is!
Each time I came to visit my grandmother, we would first got to Fendt Bros for potato sausage, then to Mullen's for a malt. We did this till she was 93. Great times.
There are some things that never change and Mullen's Dairy Bar is one of them. Established during the Great Depression this sentimental shop still hand churns ice cream daily. Inside the battered screen door the décor matches the menu fare. Vintage Coke and Pepsi trays match the faded gingham wallpaper they hang against. There's a crack in the ceiling near the corner. It's the same one I noticed when I was fifteen; undoubtedly it will still be there when I am fifty.
I've been going to Mullen's Dairy Bar since I was four years old. I'm thirty-three now and like I said, not much has changed. My onion rings are still piping hot perfection. I sip my ice cold cherry phosphate and travel back in time. Once again I'm that bright eyed little four year old who ran over to the penny candy display. She got a piece of rack candy for her birthday and today that memory is just as sharp as the candy that cut the roof of my mouth.
"Mullen's has a birthday today." Bonnie says.
Jack's five year old eyes were wide with childish delight when he saw the red and white striped candle nestled in his chocolate ice cream. Everyone sang together and we were all smiling at Jack's obvious relish for his birthday treat.
My own children were running up and down the narrow aisles. They touched every single piece of candy they could reach. They went to the bathroom every five minutes just so they could play with the gate at the top of the stairs. An elderly woman with artificial blue-black hair smiled at them as they raced past the other patrons. I see her secret smile and I wonder if she and her husband went on dates here when he was courting her.
Her head is nodding in time with the music. That hasn't changed either. I bet the radio station has never been changed. It's still the same easy listening favorites that soak into the surroundings and flavor the food. No one rally listens to it but we'd all miss it if it wasn't there.
A teenage girl wearing a still clean work shirt is sitting across from us. That girl has been sitting there for years now. She's there with her boyfriend, and her friends behind the counter give them a malt when Bonnie's back is turned. The serving girls in front of us are the same girls who worked there when I was in high school. The hair and makeup is different but the girls are the same; slim, bustling and efficient. The sundaes are served in glass dishes; that's one of my favorite things about Mullen's. Real glass dishes. I look around and I wonder. . .
If you're ever in the area drop on by. At Mullen's there are two spoons for every sundae.
Our mom and dad used to pack us up in the station wagon to come to Watertown to feed the ducks and get ice cream at Mullen's. We would go to Sharp Corner for fish fry's. I dropped my scoop of ice cream out on the sidewalk. I was upset!
You are great!
Our Dad passed away February 6, 1996. Our family of ten was all home for Dad's funeral. One night we ordered at least 40 chocolate Mullen's malts. Our Dad loved Mullen's malts. I think the malt mixers were smokin'! Every time I come home to Watertown, we always stop at Mullen's and buy a malt! Your malts are the best.
Barbie Surdick-Harris; Mark, John, Michael & Hannah Rose Harris
You make the best chocolate sodas! My husband and I discovered Mullen's when we moved to the town of Concord 12 years ago! Every time we come in to Watertown, I stop at Mullen's for their delicious chocolate sodas with mint ice cream. For those of you that have never tried one, you really ought to. They are a delicious treat from the past.
Sandy & Larry DeMaster
Still my favorite place; always have a hot fudge sundae. Can still remember playing basketball upstairs. I always filled all the cabinets, sorted the pop bottles and took out the garbage.
Mike Mullen, July 2008
I went to high school in Watertown, Class of '51. I worked at Boyle Funeral Home after school. We came to Mullen's often to enjoy the wonderful ice cream. Frank & Helen were always here, they were very nice people. My sister, Ferne & I came here often. My mother loved the ice cream. Many happy memories of Watertown here at Mullen's. Mullen's is the best!
Doris V. Robbins Wilde
We read about you in a book called Everybody Loves Ice Cream
, and since we were coming out to Madison for a wedding, we HAD to stop by. It was a wonderful experience! Fabulous peanut butter shake and we loved all of the memorabilia and collectibles on the wall. We're sure to tell everybody out in California about you!
Ashley & Brian Eaze
San Diego, CA
I worked here 1960-1962. Frank Mullen gave me a ride home after 10:30 pm closing. We always stopped @ Judge & Alice's where we played pool. Frank always bought me a barbecue beef sandwich. We never lost the pool games. Friday nights were a madhouse. Customers waited in line for malts, ____________________. You still have the same nut machines. The ice cream is still the same.
On a hot summer afternoon my dad and I walked to Mullen's for cones. It was so hot and my dad could not keep up with his melting ice cream cone. It was melting all over his hand. We kept laughing as he kept licking at his cone.
In the 60's I was a kid in a farm family towards Oconomowoc. We'd bring our eggs in to Gulper's and always stop at Mullen's, too. We've come a gazillion times. Now we live near Chicago but if we're anywhere close to Watertown we stop at Mullen's. Mine is a double dip butter pecan.
When I was a boy delivering papers for the Watertown Daily Times every Saturday morning we'd come to the Times to get our cards punched and get our pay - maybe 8¢ for two weeks. Then we'd come to either Mullen's or Pagel's and spend a good part of what we earned. I've been coming to Mullen's all my life.