In Milwaukee, when it’s late October and 80 degrees at night, we don’t worry about whether there is a full moon. We worry about whether Leon’s will still be open by the time we get there. It is and so we order our cones and then lean against the red rail to eat them. We don’t come to Leon’s to get ice cream. We come to Leon’s to eat ice cream There’s a difference.
While we eat our ice cream cones, we watch other customers walk up to the window to order. Each one studies the posted flavors as if they are seeing them for the first time but the flavors haven’t changed for fifty years: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and butter pecan. And everyone who comes to Leon’s has been there before. No one is new.
It’s fine. Leon’s. It’s never changed. It never added tables and umbrellas. It never added lattes to the menu. It never hired a chef or made food that needed a fork. It didn’t try to attract a fancier clientele. It didn’t open branches in other parts of the city. It just stayed what it started out being. I appreciate Leon’s sticking with itself.
It was smart.