Every Spokane neighborhood has its beloved iconic business. The Milk Bottle in Garland, Dicks Hamburgers and Frankie’s Diner downtown, and The Elk in Browne’s Addition help define the unique character of their neighborhoods. In West Central, Doyle’s Ice Cream Parlor is such a local landmark.
An icon of small businesses in Spokane, the beloved Doyle’s Ice Cream Parlor has been serving the West Central neighborhood since 1940. Originally owned and run by Arthur Doyle, who opened his business at the age of 28, it regularly receives awards for best ice-cream in the area and is famous for its Huckleberry cone.
Stepping inside Doyle’s is like entering a time machine to an earlier day. The store has the original working soda fountain fixtures as well as the antique 1940s ice-cream equipment. The menu includes such classic treats as ‘black and whites’ and ‘Banana Splits’. In addition to its icy treats, Doyle’s houses an incredible display of vintage and collectible toys, games, and ice-cream memorabilia. There is even a fortune-telling machine that once was part of Natatorium Park. Jerry Gill, the new owner of Doyle’s, lived just two houses down from the ice-cream shop when he was a boy and has no intention of changing its nostalgic feel.
The building itself was built in 1928 and was originally a barber shop and beauty salon. It sits on the corner of West Boone and Nettleton and little has changed inside or out with the same clapboard facade and what looks like the original sign. As the neighborhood enjoys a revitalization, with new restaurants and the Kendall Yards expansion, Doyle’s remains a firm part of the local area and hopes to continue serving the West Central neighborhood for many years to come.