Remember the Hope Creamery, Warren?

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A bit of old Warren saw the first light of day in decades as workers tore off part of the facade of a building at 840 Main St. during major renovations last week.

Several walls of brick were removed, leaving two signs, the largest of which is close to 16 feet long. One on the northwest corner of the building reads “Ice Cream”; the other, on the south side, reads” Ice cream & soda.”

Though many in Warren remember the building as the Jade Tree, it goes farther back than that. It was built in 1930 and prior to becoming a Chinese restaurant it was the Hope Creamery, a popular hangout spot for kids in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and possibly earlier. The building is owned by Bristol resident Ed Cox; he bought it earlier this year.

Mr. Cox’s crews are renovating the building to provide new apartments on the second floor, and a home for Alfred’s Antiques, formerly of Barrington, on the first. Mr. Cox said this week that the signs will probably stay where they are and will eventually be covered over, as they’re integral to the building and would be difficult to remove.

During their short coming out party, the signs have generated a fair bit of interest from parts close and far — all the way to South Carolina, even.

South Carolina resident Anne Marie DiMaio is the granddaughter of Frank DiMaio and daugher of Christopher A. DiMaio, former owners of the Hope Creamery. Her niece still lives in town and e-mailed her photos of the old signs last week.

“I have very vivid memories,” she wrote in an e-mail to the Warren Times-Gazette. “I actually lived  with my parents above the Creamery for the first three years of my  life. We moved from the original upstairs apartment when my brother  was born. My brother and I were both very excited to see the photos that my niece sent to us. The two  of us were also very excited about the possibility that there just  might be an original sign from when my family owned the property that survived covered all these years.”

Others were just as nostalgic.

“The old Hope Creamery in Warren was one of my usual stops in the late 1950s,” wrote Bristol resident Manuel C. “Manny” Correira. “Loved the ice cream sodas there, especially on a warm summer day! Ahhhh, to relive that era again would be wonderful!

“I also remember fondly partaking of some great ice cream and other ‘goodies,'” wrote a poster named “Wurlinut.” “I am extremely pleased that the building will finally be rescued and put to good use.”

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4 Comments

  1. Manuel C. "Manny" Correira said:

    The old Hope Creamery in Warren was one of my usual stops in the late 1950s, Loved the ice cream sodas there, especially on a warm summer day! Ahhhh, to relive that era again would be wonderful!

  2. wurlinut said:

    I also remember fondly partaking of some great ice cream and other “goodies”. I am extremely pleased that the building will finally be rescued and put to good use.

  3. curiosityscout said:

    That is so cool to see the original buildingand the old sign, but what a nightmare of a building it became when it was redone some time back in the 70s perhaps. Hope it doesn’t turn into another Warren eysore on Main St. I beg the owner to hire an architect for some design advice because unfortunately the town government could care less! Thirty years we’ve been looking at that hideous building on “RI’S SCENIC HIGHWAY” When are we going to join the rest of the East Bay and care about Main St. with some kind of design review? Wake up Warren Town Council!!

  4. northend said:

    Excellent comments Curiosityscout. I have no idea how this building will appear when complete but I have high hopes as Alfred’s has always had impeccable standards. I do agree that we need to change the mind set of a number of Town Council members as it relates to asthetics. We need to adopt a more “Barringtonesque Style” of review. Wherein new businesses should be encouraged to blend into the town rather than stand out. Look no further than the Dunkin Donuts on Main St in Bristol vs. the one on Main St in Warren.

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