Old Dutch Custard is having another grand opening this weekend.
Old Dutch first opened in 1985, and after new owners took over two years ago there was another opening. But the custard shop at 3505 Spring St. that advertises itself as "custard for the gourmet taste" has been closed for more than a year. Now it has new owners with long experience in the restaurant business.
"It's a family affair," says Hassan Musaitif, 26, who will run the restaurant that was bought out of foreclosure by his father, Nimer Musaitif, owner of Chubbies Pizzeria on High Street. Hassan has 11 years of experience, doing everything at Chubbies, but this is the first business he's run on his own.
Hassan graduated from UW-Whitewater with an MBA and concedes "it's tough to find a job these days... but I like having my own business." Technically, he's been open for two and one-half months -- a soft-opening, it's called -- giving him time to paint the building, repave the parking lot, put down new tile inside and a new kitchen, landscape the patio and hire and train his seven employees.
He's also added some new touches: free WiFi is one; a menu of salads and Panini sandwiches -- the Racine, the Roma and Cheesy Delight are just three, each for $5.95 -- is another.
But, of course, the main attraction is Old Dutch's famous custard, once voted Southeastern Wisconsin's best. What about that?
"The recipes came with the purchase," Hassan assures, and he's been making the old favorites since he's been open; all custard is made on site. Old Dutch promises to have at least 24 flavors for sale at all times, although not always the same ones. He also plans to "tweak" some of the recipes; next week, for example, he will offer customers a "taste test" of custards made with four different vanillas to see which they prefer. "From this vanilla to that vanilla, there's a big difference," Hassan says.
A single-scoop sugar cone is $1.95, double is $2.95 and triple scoop is $3.95. Add 50 cents for a waffle cone.
The grand opening Saturday at 11 a.m. will be special for another reason: Mayor John Dickert will cut the official ribbon. Unless I'm mistaken, this is the first ribbon-cutting for our new mayor -- hopefully the first of many.
Postscript: Thanks to Hassan's generosity, I can personally attest to the quality of the new Old Dutch's mint chocolate chip. Hey, it's a tough job and somebody has to do it!