Rod Mortensen has announced that Mortensen’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Shoppe in Newington will close at the end of the year.
“It is with mixed emotions that after 37 years in our present location we have decided to close Mortensen’s Restaurant and Ice Cream Shoppe, and make a change,” said the former Newington mayor and well-known local businessman. “But there is good news. We will be re-opening as an ice cream shop to continue serving our award-winning homemade ice cream.”
The Mortensen Family also has an ice cream shop in Cromwell that will remain open. The Berlin Turnpike restaurant will close Dec. 31.
Mortensen explained that most of the current restaurant building will serve as the new home for a Moe’s Southwest Grille & Restaurant, a restaurant chain. The remaining portion of the building will be the new Mortensen Ice Cream Shoppe, where ice cream and ice cream desserts will be served. Renovations to the building are expected to take two or three months.
“Restaurants like ours are becoming fewer and fewer,” said Mortensen about the family owned eatery that was well-known for its comfort fare including burgers and fries, patty melts, hot dogs, sandwiches and breakfasts, as well as its homemade ice creams including toasted almond, sweet cream nd seasonal favorites including pumpkin, blueberry and strawberry. “We will be renovating the building and in the spring there will be the new ice cream shop that will reposition the ice cream-making equipment to the front of the store so people coming in can watch how we make our own ice cream. It’s a way to get back to our dairy roots.”
Mortensen’s father, Elmer, began the family dairy business in the early 1900′s, years ago, delivering milk by horse and wagon and in and around Hartford.