Food & Drink

Central Coast ice cream shop specializing in wild flavors will replace Burr’s Fountain

Central Coast-based Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab will replace longtime East Sacramento parlor Burr’s Fountain later this year, a company representative confirmed Wednesday.

Doc Burnstein’s hopes to finish remodeling Burr’s old home at 4920 Folsom Blvd. and open by the end of fall, spokeswoman Molly Kasdan said.

Jim Burr began making and scooping at Vic’s Ice Cream in 1969 and stayed there for 20 years before opening his own shop, where he continued to serve Vic’s ice cream as well as housemade sandwiches and soups. Burr’s Fountain became an East Sacramento institution where multiple generations grew up going. A report card of A’s and B’s got kids a free scoop.

With Burr himself facing health problems and no successor in place, though, the ice cream shop formally closed in October of last year after months of inactivity. Burr’s son and a handful of former employees re-opened the store for one weekend in November as a send-off for its founder.

Doc Burnstein’s carries traditional flavors as well as some more eccentric; specials this month include Unicorn Swirl (white cake ice cream with pie crust pieces and strawberry ribbon) and Mexican Chocolate. Several flavors are also based on alcoholic drinks, such as Jack & Coke, Merlot Raspberry Truffle and Motor Oil (dark chocolate and Kahlua with fudge swirls).

Doc Burnstein’s currently has just three stores between San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and Arroyo Grande, but wants to open 100 more across California by 2026. Stores in Fresno and Chico will also open by the end of the year, and 2020 will bring shops in Bakersfield, Visalia and the Bay Area, as well as a second in Fresno.

Corporate headquarters and production will remain in San Luis Obispo County, CEO Michael Boyer told The Tribune in March.

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Benjy Egel covers local restaurants and bars for The Sacramento Bee as well as general breaking news and investigative projects. A Sacramento native, he previously covered business for the Amarillo Globe-News in Texas.
Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.