Since they stopped working at their father's dry-cleaning business and opened Boulevard Treats more than 20 years ago, Helen, Christine and Anna Mastragalis have been doling out sugar to the folks of South Michigan Avenue. Decked out in matching, fire-engine-red caps, the little ladies display straight-out-of-a-movie character and charisma. The sweet, inexpensive, old-fashioned experience of Boulevard Treats will remind visitors of after-school trips to the penny candy store, and customers often hang around to chat with the charming women as they down hot dogs and ice cream.
Little bearded men reminiscent of garden gnomes stand guard in the glass plate window. In their dwarfish hands, handwritten lists advertise the ice cream du jour, flavors belonging to the old school posse of butter pecan and rainbow sherbet. Even sweeter: the $1.05 price tag on each scoop.
The scent of buttered popcorn wafts through the shop. Pick up a small bag of the salty stuff for about 80 cents; a large order will only set you back less then $3. Candy-apple red shelves line the walls on the right, while an ice cream counter, hording tubs of pistachio green and strawberry pink, chills out on the left. Sugar-coated selections from the candy shop beckon sweets lovers, and take-me-out-to-the-ballgame hot dogs, complete with mustard and relish, sell for about $1.50 each.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg