As the days of summer descend upon Lemont and temperatures begin to rise, a new ice cream and pastry shop is beginning to gain attention among local residents.
Muffins, which opened in April, boasts a large variety of beverages and sweets, including homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt, cupcakes, coffee, tea and—as you might expect—muffins.
“Business is picking up,” Muffins manager Joe Saguto said. “As more and more word of our place gets out, I only see that trend continuing to go up.”
Located at 400 E. Illinois St., Muffins proudly serves Plush Horse Ice Cream, an area favorite of Palos Park since 1937. Having a name known so well throughout Chicago's South Side immediately attracts people who grew up with the ice cream, which serves as a complement to the other items on the menu, Saguto said.
“The ice cream here is simply great,” one customer said. “I discovered the place driving by, and I have to say I’m impressed with how nice the inside is put together, the Wi-Fi service, comfortable seating, and how friendly the staff is. You really can’t go wrong."
A local business owned by the Bohne family, Muffins strives to have an inviting atmosphere. According to their website, “The Bohnes combined their vision of a warm, comfortable, French-style coffee house with their construction background crafting the Muffins Shoppe to match the charismatic historic area.”
Although the shop's location on the corner of a busy intersection creates space limitations inside, a handful of two-person tables and chandelier-like lighting fit snugly around the counter. All is meant to capture a European feel right here in Lemont, employees said.
“It really does feel like a chic little coffeehouse,” employee Keara McGraw said.
Restaurant favorites vary, mostly due to the size of the menu, employees said.
“My favorite is the chocolate peanut butter ice cream,” McGraw said. “But the different choice of ice cream is fantastic, and I can say it’s the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted.”
“For me it’s the cake batter malt,” said another customer. “It’s what I get pretty much every time I come.”
As the months pass and customers continue to come back, Muffins doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon.
“There is just so much to offer here, and you see a lot of repeat customers, and you know what they order—that is pretty cool,” McGraw said.
The location also continues to attract passersby, who in the summertime can also see patrons enjoying their Muffins treats amongst the outside seating that dots the side of the building.
“Being so close to the train station, and with the constant traffic, we have really turned this unoccupied building into something people are interested in,” Saguto said. “Now that we’re here, there is a gathering place for the community for ice cream and everything else, and that is really what attracts people.”
For more information on Muffins, visit www.muffinsicecream.com.
Editor's Note: During his time at Muffins, author Tom Czaja sampled a fresh strawberry smoothie made with banana and orange juice. "It made for a refreshing treat on warm day," he reports.