OCONOMOWOC — Mullen’s Dairy Bar, the iconic Watertown ice cream shop, is opening a location in Oconomowoc in spring of next year, owner Josh Keepman said.
The new location will be on the rear of the 120 E. Wisconsin Avenue building — where Tricia’s Troops used to be.
Keepman said this location won’t be like the Watertown store, but instead will be a walk-up window where people can come get their favorite ice cream, shakes, sundaes and malts.
“When we take a look at our demographic and where our customer base is coming from, as you might imagine, Watertown is front and center, but after that Oconomowoc is our largest customer base,” Keepman said. “We felt that if we were going to make a change or put a new location anywhere, Oconomowoc would have to be at the top of our list.”
On the rear of the building are three windows which is where customers will walk up to order. But to do so, Keepman said he is building a new deck that will connect to the existing deck near the Roots Coffeebar’s rear entrance.
“We couldn’t imagine a better spot, you’ve got Fowler Lake and the boardwalk to look at while you enjoy one of the chocolate malts we’ve become known for,” Keepman said.
Mullen’s makes all their ice cream in Watertown and Keepman said that will continue as truck routes to deliver ice cream to existing retail partnerships in the area will just add the new location to their list once it opens.
Keepman and his two brothers Matt and Adam are from Oconomowoc and grew up making the pilgrimage to Mullen’s when they were younger.
Keepman said there is something special about opening a new store in your hometown.
“Oconomowoc is so much different than when we grew up here,” Keepman said. “The weekends and even weeknights, there’s people walking everywhere and it’s fabulous. This has been the direction of the city for a long time.
“It’s just really cool to see the city come alive and actually that. My heart is here in my hometown, it’s really part of our heritage, but to be part of all the noise that’s going on down here.”