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Ice Cream Chronicles (Yr. 3): Treat Tasking in Pataskala

Not too long ago, and only noticed by a select few people, a sliver of life from the past died. A milkman ended his route.

Gary Bocock, who along with his father kept this highly appreciated service for numerous decades, couldn't make the math work when the price of gasoline exceeded the price of the milk he was delivering. According to the article by Mike Harden of The Columbus Dispatch, about 150 people said their tearful goodbyes to their favorite dairy deliverer on his last day in late March, 2008.

Thankfully for the folks who live in and near Pataskala, the other dairy endeavor of Mr. Bocock and his wife Karen, is still going strong.

Back in the Bay Area, eateries that close for the season due to weather are not terribly common, and it took my move out to Ohio for me to really experience this phenomenon. Food trucks are definitely one segment where many decide to shutter operations during the colder months here. Similarly, the little mom and pop ice cream stands, unlike their larger brethren like Graeter's or Jeni's, are seasonal affairs, gathering in their riches when the warmer weather make many seek out some frozen relief.

With that said, the opening of these places is often something of a mini-cause célèbre for the surrounding community as a whole. Such is the case with Pataskala's Dairy Hut.

Owned by the Bococks since 1979, this Pataskala institution still draws locals and those from surrounding communities to its parkside stand on Main Street, creating some fairly substantial lines at times. Knowing this, I felt fortunate to drop by early enough on a weekday where I could enjoy a relatively quiet lunch on a nearby park bench.

I found the Dairy Hut's friendly service combined with its menu of hot dogs, brats and sandwiches, nachos, and ice cream concoctions appealing in its simplicity and down home nature. Their Coney Dog, my lunch main on this day, was enhanced with a pleasantly sweet, homemade sauce and a bevy of toppings; bonus points in my book for having jalapenos as an option.

Of course, I couldn't not leave without getting some ice cream; while grabbing a couple scoops of Dairy Hut's 24 advertised flavors was tempting, I felt a simple soft serve twist was in order this day. The warmish, humid day started the melting process pretty quickly, adding extra incentive to finish this sweet treat even more the quickly.

The Dairy Hut
42 S Main St. (Google Maps)
Pataskala, OH 43062
(740) 739-7878
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The Dairy Hut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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