The Icehouse project continues to grow in downtown Edmond

Developer Brandon Lodge calls this historic building “the crown jewel” of the Icehouse project in downtown Edmond. He envisions it as a good restaurant and cocktail bar. (Photo by Kathryn McNutt)

EDMOND – Three businesses are open and two more are under construction in The Icehouse Project mixed-use development in downtown Edmond.

Developer Brandon Lodge said a brewery and creamery is on track to start serving customers in September, despite construction delays and a 30% rise in material and labor costs .

Tulsa-based craft brewery American Solera is opening a second branch at the Edmond site, while Lodge and Patrick Myers are opening the urban creamery they’ve dreamed of for more than four years.

The only yet-to-be-announced space in the $6 million, 15,000 square foot development – which sits across the tracks west of Edmond’s Festival Market Square – is the historic building that many locals refer to as “The Ice House,” even though the original Edmond Ice Co. building is now just a memory.

“The cooler does not exist. It was torn down at some point,” Lodge said. “The building everyone calls the Icehouse was Edmond’s first creamery.”

Records show that the original building was constructed in 1901 and the ice plant opened in 1910, meeting a daily demand of 4-5 tons of ice. The Creamery Building, completed in 1921 just south of the original structure, is the only remaining building of the former Edmond Ice Co. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.

“The cooler transformed American culture. That’s why we drink cold beer, cold sodas and cold water,” Lodge said. “They’ve become the community gathering place – and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Three 50-year-old metal buildings on the site — configured to form a courtyard — are perfect for serving customers who can eat and drink at outdoor tables. Active children can enjoy the play area while their parents enjoy the conversation and music.

The historic creamery building “is the crown jewel and the reason I got into the project, but the yard is the heart and soul,” Lodge said.

The Fried Taco and Woodward Pizza Co., which serve Detroit-style pizza, share one of the metal buildings. The brewery will occupy another, and the third will house the urban creamery. Oklahoma City’s Prelude Coffee Roasters and I’s Bakery of Edmond are on board to settle into the creaminess, Lodge said.

“Our tenant mix is ​​fantastic. They will feed each other,” he said. “I think the brewery will attract a lot of business for food concepts.”

Plans call for an on-site greenhouse to grow produce, which the restaurants will use. Spent grain from the brewery will be taken to the Myers family dairy farm in Cushing to feed the cows, and the milk from the cows will be brought back to the creamery to make cheese and ice cream.

Lodge and Myers first started looking for a good site for an urban creamery that could save the dairy farm, but in the process they looked a lot at food supply and food insecurity.

“Initially it was a cool concept, but it took a significant turn (during the pandemic). It’s crucial and essential to start considering,” Lodge said.

His hope is that The Icehouse Project will get people to ask, “Where does my food come from and why should I care?”

Lodge first became involved in the project with developer Chip Fudge, owner of the historic site. He bought the property and the project from Fudge in 2019 along with development partners Myers and Russell Moore.

A second historic building on the site was a stable for horses which was used to help deliver blocks of ice to customers. It’s been transformed into The Stables, a small event center for parties of 40 or less that’s open for business.

The tenant of “la glacière” who launched the whole project has not yet been determined.

“I always want local tenants. I haven’t found the right tenant yet,” Lodge said. “It will probably be a good restaurant and a cocktail bar.”

David H. Henry