Return to life as it was in the 1950s with a visit to the Quad Cities and Lagomarcino’s, a renowned confectionery and soda fountain in downtown Moline, Illinois, is celebrating 100 years of continuous business in the same family in 2008.
Founded by Angelo Lagomarcino in 1908, the confectionary has operated continuously and they are celebrating their centennial throughout the summer with $1.00 off weekly specials featuring a variety of ice cream treats, sodas, malts, and shakes from their authentic soda fountain.
Angelo Lagomarcino obtained the secret recipe for their delicious hot fudge sauce from a traveling salesman in 1912. Angelo paid him $25 for the recipe, against his wife’s better judgment. She scolded him for spending so much money, but he was right. The same recipe is still used today and has earned Lagomarcino‘s national and international recognition from well-known culinary magazines and food editors. It’s been touted by reviewers as "the best Hot Fudge in the Solar System." The hot fudge sauce is served along side the ice cream in its own little pitcher.
In a survey by Illinois Magazine published in its July 2002 issue, Lagomarcino’s was voted the “Best Homemade Candy” in the state. In 2006, Lagomarcino’s won an America’s Classics Award from the famous James Beard Foundation in New York. The James Beard awards "are considered the Oscars of the food industry," co-owner Beth Lagomarcino said of the Beard awards.
The soda fountain also serves sandwiches, soups, salads, old-fashioned sodas, phosphates, and a fruity pop invented by Charlie Lagomarcino in the ‘20s.
At their Moline location, it’s the original décor with the mahogany booths, Tiffany-style lamps, and a hexagon terrazzo floor with blue flowers. The metal ceiling is still there from when the building was built and the original cigar and candy cases are still in use. Lagomarcino’s also opened a location across the river in the historic Village of East Davenport in 1997.
The fourth generation of Lagomarcino’s is helping continue the delicious tradition. "My college kids are working this summer and (her brother) Tom’s children have," Ms. Lagomarcino said. "His kids have worked extensively. It is how they helped pay their way through college."
A special anniversary tin commemorating Lagomarcino’s 100 years in business is available at both stores. The tin may be filled with Lagomarcino’s own handmade chocolates. Their famous hot fudge sauce is available in a commemorative sundae dish that may be purchased as a keepsake.
Visit Lagomarcino’s at 1422 5th Ave., Moline, IL, 309-764-1814 and in the Village of East Davenport, 2132 E. 11th St., Davenport, IA, 563-324-6137. For more information, visit www.lagomarcinos.com.
Located on the Mississippi River in the Midwest, the Quad Cities is comprised of Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa; Rock Island and Moline/East Moline, Illinois; and surrounding communities. This area is known for its pioneer heritage and a simpler way of life that has flourished here over the last few centuries. Three of the Quad Cities attractions are the Walnut Grove Pioneer Village and Buffalo Bill Cody Homestead and John Deere Collectors Center. Additional things to do include concerts at the Mark, riverboats and an IMAX Theatre.