Bruce & Ollie’s ice cream, coffee shop opens in downtown Utica

Repurposing of Bickerman building nearly complete

Feel like having an ice cream while in downtown Utica? Two developers have opened a Mill Street ice cream parlor with beverage service and grab-and-go food.

Bruce & Ollie’s now is open in the old Bickerman Hardware building, 166 Mill St. Food isn’t available just yet but owners Matt and Jen Cetwinski threw open their doors this week and have so far enjoyed brisk business.

“Everything we have here is kind of grab-and-go,” Matt Cetwinski said Thursday during a tour of the refurbished hardware store. “You can sit here and hang out or at a table outside.”

Village officials had OK’d the couple’s plans to redevelop the Bickerman building into commercial and residential components. Downstairs is the restaurant-coffee house featuring a walk-up window on the north side. Upstairs is condominium that already has been sold plus two rental units that are nearing completion.

“We left the stone walls and the beams (from) the original structure of the building,” Matt said, “but everything else is brand new.”

The store features takeout food and beverages for visitors to nearby Starved Rock State Park plus dine-in options for people who want to enjoy the lounge with fireplace, outdoor seating on Mill Street or, soon, a rear patio.

Hours of operation will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday until June and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tom Collins

Tom Collins

Tom Collins covers criminal justice in La Salle County.