Food for Thought: Johnny Shar's Big Dipper - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Food for Thought: Johnny Shar's Big Dipper

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MOUNDSVILLE -

Situated between two Moundsville landmarks, you can't miss Johnny Shar's Big Dipper.

With a roller coaster on the roof and a Big Boy statue in the back, this ice cream shop isn't your typical walk-up window.

Once inside, you're transported into old-time amusement park nostalgia, a hobby that started with the purchase of an antique bumper car.

Something co-owner John Yeater jokingly calls a "sickness".

"It was the initial purchase and a fun purchase, and from that point, it kept going and going and going. It's just a fun hobby," Yeater said.

John and his wife, Sharon, bought the old Marshall Dairy building three years ago with the intentions of using it for storage, but as the renovations progressed and their minds started going, it turned in to much more.

He said a lot of people who heard they bought the building asked if they'd turn it in to its former glory.  "All the people approaching us through the renovations as far as wanting to know if we were going to open up ice cream, because this place was always noted for that. I think that more or less manipulated us into doing it which was a good thing, and it was a way we felt as though we could give something back to the community, so here we are."

In fact, the Yeater's have never run any kind of food service business before, so the whole thing is new to them. However, judging by the crowds since the opening in April, you wouldn't be able to tell for a second!

Yeater said the public has been very supportive.  "Yeah, it's been really overwhelming and the people have been really supportive. And that's great, that's what it takes to survive."

Johnny Shar's Big Dipper serves 32 fun flavors of ice cream, ranging from brightly colored "playdough" to a more savory peanut butter cup. There is something there for everyone, and who doesn't love ice cream!?

Carly Lucas, who has been working there since the store opened, said she loves seeing the smiles on customers faces. "I think just because when people come to get ice cream, they're always happy. You're not upset when you're getting ice cream, so the little kids, you know, seeing them get excited for the ice cream and in the mirrors and everything around."

In addition to their 32 flavors, Johnny Shar's also sells hot dogs, pepperoni rolls and Sarris Candies.

They are also working on a museum to showcase all the antiques they couldn't fit in the first floor of the store. Antique signs, rides, and games take over the second level, truly an amazing sight.

If you're wondering where they get all of the antique items, John said they travel to amusement park auctions all over the country, some as far as Florida, to get all the right pieces.

They have a number of items from parks ranging from Kennywood to Coney Island.

Johnny Shar's Big Dipper opens at noon daily and stays open until 10:00 p.m. They are closed on Monday's.

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