Jerry’s Sno Cones

Sunday, September 6, 2009
By Louis Magnifico
Expect to wait in line - but it'll be worth the wait!

Expect to wait in line - but it'll be worth the wait!

Sometime around 1993 – 1994, while I was playing bass and writing songs for local Memphis rock band Kiss Me Quick, I wrote a song about a hamburger joint that had closed down.  “Olde Tyme Blues” was the name of the song and it told the story of a 30something year old man who returns to his favorite childhood burger joint only to find that it has changed owners, changed names, and no longer tasted like the fond childhood memories.  No, most of our songs weren’t about hamburger joints.  Come to think of it, our songs typically weren’t about much of anything.  But this was a true story (only I wasn’t 30somthing yet) and I just had to write it at the time.

Now that I’ve discovered Jerry’s Sno Cones, I hope this Memphis landmark stays open for generations to come.  Should it ever suffer the same fate as my childhood burger joint I will most certainly write a sequel to “Olde Tyme Blues” and give Jerry’s the same respect.  But it’s a song I hope I never have to write.

Char enjoys Hurricane Elvis from Jerry's Sno Cones!

Char enjoys Hurricane Elvis from Jerry's Sno Cones!

Jerry’s is simply the best place for Sno Cones in Memphis.  It was featured in the Jerry Lee Lewis bio-flick Great Balls of Fire and has quite a local cult-following.  I don’t know how this place escaped me for so many years.  Several people told Char about the famous sno cones so we eventually checked them out ourselves.  They certainly lived up to the hype!

There are really only 5 considerations when it comes to sno cones.  The Traveling Twosome will rate Jerry’s on all 5 attributes.

#1 – Consistency.  Too often, sno cones are more like tiny hardened ice pellets molded into a scoop with syrup poured over the top of it.  Not at Jerry’s!  Jerry’s sno cones are the PERFECT consistency – soft and almost creamy. Shaved to perfection.

#2 – Syrup.  Jerry’s pours enough yummy goodness into each sno cone that your ice is saturated with flavor!  For this visit, we grabbed two flavors to share:  Cherry and Hurricane Elvis.  Both were OUTSTANDING!


Just something to remember when visiting Jerry's in January!

Just something to remember when visiting Jerry's in January!

#3 –   Size.  Jerry’s offers small, medium, and large – and the large is large enough to be considered large.  I’ve had larger – such as in Tupelo.  But I’m not complaining about the size, either.  You will get your money’s worth with a large.

#4 – Price.  As good as a sno cone might be, it’s ice and syrup.  I despise seeing fairs, amusement parks, and attractions rip off their patrons by charging $6 for an 8 oz. sno cone.  This won’t happen at Jerry’s.  Char and I both got large sno cones, paid with a $5 bill, and got change back.  Ok – truth be told, Char paid with a $20 bill.  But she got a lot of change back.  Had she paid with a $50 bill, she would have received even more change.  Math works that way.  Every time.  OH – SPEAKING OF MONEY.  Jerry’s accepts Cash ONLY.  I learned the hard way as my card was turned away and Char had to reach for her purse.

#5 – Memories.  A good sno cone consumed by an adult should bring back memories of your childhood.  As I enjoyed my treat, I found myself wishing I had known Char when we were 12 years old.  I visualized her as my first crush, walking to the corner to get a large sno cone to share under a shade tree on a summer’s day.  A good sno cone is good for romance.

Can you imagine what the man at the sign shop must have thought when he received this custom sign order?

Can you imagine what the man at the sign shop must have thought when he received this custom sign order?

Jerry’s also serves lunch and other treats (such as Philly Cheese-Steaks and ice cream cones) so it really can be a one stop shop for a great summertime outing with the kids!  The whole place is actually a converted garage / service station located on the border of a residential area of Memphis.

As Char and I left Jerry’s, the fun was just beginning.   It appears that the lines for Jerry’s get so long sometimes that parking becomes an issue.  That led one homeowner to have a custom sign posted in his yard (see picture).

Now – allow me to travel down a tangent road for just a moment.  Can you imagine the guy at the sign shop taking this custom sign order?  I am thinking of a man walking into the sign shop and saying, “I want a sign that says no parking in my damn driveway.”  The salesrep would reply, “Yes, sir, we have these no parking signs right over here.”  To which the man responds, “No, no – not like that.  I want one that says no parking in my damn driveway.”  Anyway, I digress.

We blocked his driveway anyway long enough to take a few pictures then drove on our merry way, still satisfied from the sno cones.

We noticed a Planters Peanut Shop nearby and we stopped inside to check it out.

The peanut shop sells many varieties of candies and nuts and they sell peanuts prepared in many ways.  We bought a bag of hot boiled peanuts and some rock candy.  But we also took time to look around and snap some pictures.

An artifact from yesteryear at The Peanut Shoppe on Summer Ave. in Memphis

An artifact from yesteryear at The Peanut Shoppe on Summer Ave. in Memphis

The store features many promotional products from Planters as well as “peanut artifacts.”  In addition, there is an out-of-order “ride ’em horsey” just inside the door.

All in all, we had a great day exploring the tasty treats found in the Berclair neighborhood of Memphis.  We highly recommend checking out Jerry’s Sno Cones – they are located at 1657 Wells Station Rd. in Memphis.  We don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

*** A note about the sno cone flavor called “Hurricane Elvis” ***

Jerry’s Sno Cones offers scores of flavors from which to choose.  One of the flavors we tried is called “Hurricane Elvis.”  Our readers outside the Memphis Metropolitan Area probably won’t know where that name comes from.  So here’s the scoop from someone who lived it…

On July 22, 2003, a severe storm with straight line winds well in excess of 100 miles per hour passed through the Memphis area.  These winds were equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane.  The storm left 70% of Shelby County (which includes the city of Memphis) without power and it took weeks for the area to recover.  Seven deaths were attributed to the storm.  With the National Hurricane Center having just named the season’s “D” storm 2 days before the Memphis storm, and with Elvis Presley being Memphis’ most famous celebrity, the inland hurricane force storm became commonly referred to as Hurricane Elvis.

Louis rides a horsey in the peanut shop!

Louis rides a horsey in the peanut shop!

And now you know… the rest of the story.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Jerry’s Sno Cones”

  1. Mark Vice

    I love it!

  2. Britany

    As a previous citizen of Memphis, Berclair, is not the commonly known name for the neighborhood Jerry’s Sno Cone is located in. It is considered by the locals NUTBUSH… You are correct tho. Their sno cones are fantastical and I am dreaming of one right now far away in Nashville. I may make a road trip tomorrow just to get one of those tasty treats I remember as a kid. They were not open year round when I moved from the neighborhood, now they are, so I was astounded when I attended a wedding in Memphis and drove through the old neighborhood, as I always do, to find that Jerry’s was now YEAR ROUND!!!! YEAR ROUND… I couldn’t believe it. I dropped in and got me an Elvis right then and there!!! Thanks for the post. Brings back so many memories!!!!


Leave a Reply