As each winter drags on through February, Excelsior Springs ice cream lovers begin circling March 1 on their refrigerator calendars, because that it opening day at the Dari-B ice cream drive-in.
The Dari-B was founded in 1954 by Franklin and Jackie Bollinger. They built and operated the business for 24 years. The corner of Isley Boulevard and Calhoun Street/Golf Hill Drive has seen many busy summer nights. The drive-in was a big hit because of its soft-serve ice cream, and the top-quality syrups and toppings that enhanced the high-grade ice cream mix. The whole Bollinger family pitched in at their parents’ unique ice cream destination.
In 1978, Tom Carroll leased the business from the Bollingers, Tom had worked at his parents’ Marietta Drugstore, which also had a soda fountain. He expanded the Dari-B product line with hard-serve ice cream and freshly-squeezed drinks. In 1982, he created the always popular Dari-B Sangria. Tom and his wife, Belinda, finally bought the Dari-B in 1997.
So for 36 years, the Carroll family has kept one of the few remaining old-fashioned ice cream drive-ins in great shape. The March 1 opening day is like a jumpstart toward warm spring and summer evenings at the Dari-B!
The Excelsior Springs Museum and Archives, 101 E. Broadway Ave., is honoring the Dari-B with an exhibit of items used in the early days of operation, old advertising posters and photographs. The exhibit officially opens on March 1, to coincide with the annual opening of the Dari-B for its 60th anniversary.
Editor’s note: The first 250 customers at the Dari-B, 901 Isley Blvd., on opening day will receive free admission to the Excelsior Springs Museum and Archives.
By Standard Staff • StandardStaff@leaderpress.com