After 80 Years, Ice Cream Stall At Original Farmers Market To Close
The Original Farmers Market on Fairfax is about to lose one of its oldest vendors. Gill's Old Fashioned Ice Cream, which has been in operation since 1937, will be closing forever on February 2.
“I remember the land at 3rd & Fairfax before the Market was even built, that’s how old I am," Robert J. Gill, part of the Gill family who owns stall #416, said. "My Dad opened Gill’s after he’d been spending some time around the ‘new’ Farmers Market. He thought an old-fashioned ice cream shop would go well because there wasn’t anything here in the Market like that. So he built the shop, which still has the same look and feel as it did back then. I was about 14 and my brothers, sister and I would come here on weekends to scoop ice cream. But I guess I was the only one who was really interested in the store, no one else in the family cared much about it. After my Dad died of a heart attack in 1948, I left UCLA and began running the shop and I’ve been here ever since."
“Our long term customers do not even know yet,” Jody Gill told L.A. Magazine of the closure, suggesting pressure from the Market's owners to update the stall ultimately led to the decision. “Part of our charm is the original whimsical facade that my father, Bob Gill, created back in the late 1930s. It’s just so sad that we can’t keep our original store front. Unfortunately I have no choice other than to close.”
According to Eater LA, the Market has confirmed that Gill's will be replaced by a new ice cream parlor replete with a "faux retro look".
“Our most famous item is the ice cream fruit basket mold," Jody added, notes L.A. Magazine. "I’m one of the few folks in the county still making ice cream molds today. Our chocolate dip was also very popular, and we were the first to discover Rocky Road. I hope someone will allow us to open somewhere else in the Los Angeles area. I’ll be placing everything in storage and hope for the best. I can’t think of anything else in the world I would rather do than sell ice cream.”
In addition to their claim on Rocky Road, Robert Gill told the Park La Brea News Beverly Press, “We also invented the Rum Raisin flavor in Los Angeles.”
Gill's closure will be added to the list of other recent Farmers Market closures including Short Cake and Moruno, the latter of which was named one of GQ's Best New Restaurants in the country not five months before it permanently shuttered.