When Richie’s Slush location on the Parkway was in its hey-day, long before the slush became an iconic product, they were as famous for their homemade meatballs, their Beanzie’s fried dough and their unique cutlet sandwiches as they were for the slush.
In fact, the slush was simply the dessert, albeit a phenomenal ending to a good meal.
Now, with Richie Cardillo Jr. back at the helm, the Parkway landmark opened back up on Saturday, April 14, with some rare sun shining on them, and served up ice cream, slush and sandwiches under a brand-new program.
“What I’m trying to do is re-establish my father’s legacy with bringing back the traditional Italian subs, the pizza and the friend dough,” said Cardillo Jr. “It’s surreal. I look out at the Parkway and realize I haven’t been in the store, running the store, since 1983 when my dad got sick. We eliminated the food that day. We haven’t sold a sandwich at the store since.
“We’re giving it a new look, feel and vibe,” he continued. “Everyone’s excited. We’re excited, and we’re going to do the best we can and make everyone happy.”
Cardillo Jr. began work on the slush shop one year ago after buying it from his sister for about $500,000. Their father, Richie Cardillo Sr., had started the business in 1956, serving up sandwiches and ice cream and slush. The slush was so good that it became a staple of the landmark shop on the Parkway. When Cardillo Sr. got sick, Cardillo Jr. tried to supplement the loss of selling food by promoting the slush and selling it wholesale. That opened a whole new chapter for the ‘King of Slush,’ and eventually Cardillo Jr. spun off to work full-time on the wholesale business, which grew substantially.
One of the things that Cardillo Jr. is bringing back from the old days is the fried dough offerings, including the ‘Beanzie’ – which is his father’s nickname from Everett High. He’ll also have his father’s unique pork cutlet, and he’s going to have high-quality ground-chuck burgers with Bianco sausages and Pearl hot dogs. They’ll also have hand-rolled meatballs cooked fresh every day.
“We’re going to have something really special, the Crimson Tide dog, using a Pearl hot dog and a brioche bun,” he said, with a nod to the home team just down the Parkway.
Of course, it will also be one of the only outlets to get all the Richie’s Slush one can imagine, with 35 flavors on hand, and also ice cream too.
“It’s really the kind of thing where you want to bring people back to their childhood,” he said. “That’s what everyone is saying when they come back to us.”
The operation is a family business, and Cardillo Jr. said his son, Richie Cardillo III, his daughter Christina Cardillo and his wife, Pamela Cardillo, are all key contributors – along with their staff.
They will be open year-round.