BRADENTON -- Downtown office workers have another venue for lunch.
Bradentown Scoop Ice Cream Parlor, 904 Manatee Ave. E., is serving food, along with the malts, banana splits and other ice scream delights they have been dishing up since they opened in February 2012.
"There was no one to manage the food service before I came on board," said Sheri Clinard, who is now running the old-time ice cream parlor for business owner Steve Parisian.
"We have some things from the old menu, but have added some new items," said Clinard, who started at Bradentown Scoop the first week of June.
Along with the soups and sandwiches that were served when the parlor opened, Clinard has added a salad plate, a grilled cheese with bacon, and a Cuban with a twist.
The salad plate is a scoop each of egg salad and tuna salad with tomatoes and cucumbers on a bed of lettuce and the "twist" on the Cuban is that pulled pork is substituted for the traditional roasted pork.
Also, soda jerk and food server, Alex Domer, 22, said Clinard has added tuna fish and peas to the macaroni salad, giving it an extra punch.
"But if you really want something delicious get the hotdog with cole slaw and hot sauce," Domer said.
"Since we've added the food," Clinard said, "we've seen an increase of about 50 percent in business."
Although the Philly cheesesteak sandwich, is the biggest seller, she said, the Coney dog she introduced is quickly becoming a popular menu favorite.
"I love the new place," said Clinard, who was at Lucky Dogs restaurant in downtown until it closed recently, "It has a lot of character."
The vintage ice cream parlor is located in the old Manatee Central Hotel, which Parisian purchased in 1999 and restored to its original early 20th century charm.
The center piece of Bradentown Scoop is the white Onyx bar and soda fountain dating from the early 1920s and came from a drug store that was once down the block from Bradentown Scoop, but closed in the 1940s.
To complete the feel of an ice cream parlor of days gone by, Parisian has placed antiques from the era through out the 1,200-square-foot shop.
Even though there was lull in food service for about year, crowds were still coming in for the profusion of ice flavors used to create the sundaes, splits, floats, sodas and shakes, or to enjoy scoops in a cone or dish.
And with a lime-green ice cream mustache, 5-year-old Michaela Kirk, of Jacksonville, attested to how good the ice cream tastes with a thumbs up sign as she ate a scoop of chocolate and rainbow Superman, "with sprinkles."
Michaela was visiting her grandmother, Debbie Daigle, and her great-grandmother, Helen Hattersley, in Bradenton, while her mother was taking care of a newborn sibling. "The ice cream was delicious," Daigle said, "I happened to be passing by and thought I'd bring my granddaughter and mother here for ice cream."
She liked the shop enough that she was coming back with her husband and granddaughter again sometime this week. Hattersley, who had a scoop of butter pecan ice cream, said the shop reminded her of the ice cream parlors in her home town of Statford, Conn.
Bradentown Scoop is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 1-7 p.m., Sunday.