House of Flavors, known for its ice cream, closes in Manistee

MANISTEE, MI – Iconic Northern Michigan ice cream-maker House of Flavors suddenly closed its Manistee restaurant on Sunday, Sept. 13.

The restaurant has stood at the corner of River Street and U.S. 31 serving locals, visitors and travelers since 2008. The first Manistee location opened in 1976. Ludington-based House of Flavors is one of Michigan’s original, continuously-operating ice cream makers and parlors.

“It is with a pit in our stomach and a pain in our hearts that we type these next words,” management wrote in a Facebook post.

A major equipment failure that could not be overcome is behind the sudden closure, the post said. It came after continual equipment and building problems. However, the restaurant would have closed in about six weeks anyway.

The restaurant was going to close at the end of October to make room for the new Gateway development that the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is undertaking in downtown Manistee. The House of Flavors building is slated to be demolished as part of the project, which is working its way through the city approval processes.

“We are endlessly grateful to our wonderful customers in Manistee,” the post said. “We will miss you. Thank you from the bottom of our waffle cone for your support.”

House of Flavors in Ludington, 402 W. Ludington Ave., remains open.

House of Flavors began as Park Dairy, owned by the Neal family, in 1948. In 1959, they focused production on ice cream and stopped making other products. The name was changed to House of Flavors in 1964. In 1976, they remodeled the Ludington House of Flavors ice cream parlor into a full-service restaurant and opened a Manistee location. Today, House of Flavors makes more than 25 million gallons of ice cream annually and is owned by the third generation of Neals.

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