We’re the city that shells out money for non-Starbucks pumpkin flavors Labor Day weekend. We eat it for dinner in the sweltering heat of mid-July. Teens and families pack the joint after Moline football games. Even in the 30 below temperatures of early January, a few brave souls still line up for this treat on Friday nights. And if you are a Quad Citian, you can call this treat your own!
Based in Moline, Whitey’s Ice Cream first opened on the corner of 16th Street and Avenue of the Cities (23rd Avenue) in 1933.
Original owner, Chester “Whitey” Lindgen sold his store to loyal employee, Bob Tunberg, in 1953. Once a single-store ice cream parlor, a new location opened in 1977 on 41st Street in Moline with the relocation of the manufacturing facility. The popular treat, dubbed “The Best in the Midwest” by Midwest Living Magazine, greatly expanded from there, with additions in East Moline, Rock Island, Davenport, and Iowa City. But this frozen delicacy still stays a dream world, a true Willy Wonka experience, only for those who come to the QC area.
When it comes to their ice cream, Whitey’s doesn’t fool around. Each batch is freshly made with numerous single-scoop flavors, a plethora of malt, shake, and sundae mixtures, plus slushies, smoothies, select-frozen yogurts, and no-sugar added options! It’s no joke to say that this is the Quad Cities’ most popular ice cream. My godfather has to have it when he visits. I was the child who pleaded for “Barney Ice Cream” every time we drove by the doors. When the college kids come home, it is one of the first stops on their list. During my first semester away, before transferring to a local private college, I made that nine at night run to grab my large Pumpkin shake on a weekend home.
So, throw away that Vitamin Zero, ditch the Ben and Jerry’s pint — go get your own pint of “Vitamin W.”