Polar Bear Frozen Custard Shop Left Many a Warm Memory

By The Metropolist
Friday, February 13, 2009

Just about everyone seems to have a childhood memory that intertwines ice cream and family. We continue our A-to-Z tour of Washington's long-gone landmarks with the Polar Bear.

Polar Bear Frozen Custard Shop

My dad was a D.C. fireman back in the 1940s. Sometimes I would go into work with him on his day off to pick up his paycheck. On the way home we would stop for a Polar Bear custard. I still talk to my buddies about the wonderful custard.

-- Pete Boggs, Moore Haven, Fla.

We used to stop at the Polar Bear stand on Georgia Avenue for custard cones on the way home from school. Long after the shop was closed and I was married with three children we used to drive by for my trip down memory lane. The shop was boarded up, but the polar bear still stood tall with one arm raised, holding a paw full of snowballs. One day we drove by and the kids (and I) started yelling, "They broke off his paw." That was finally the end of an era.

-- Sheila Footer, Chevy Chase, Coolidge Class of 1956

My husband and I both remember my mother in the late 1960s and early '70s frequently walking with her cane from our home on Butternut Street to the Polar Bear to purchase a surprise treat for her grandchildren. Although at the time my husband and I both poked fun at the "kitschiness" of that mirrored polar bear, ever since its demise we and our children have recalled it as a symbol of my mother's love and a great time in our lives.

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